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MADEAS GOVERNMENT MUSEUM. 




Bulletin No. 1. 



PEAEL AND CHANK FISHERIES 



OF THE 



GULF OF MANAAE. 



BY 



EDGAR THURSTON, c.m.z.s., etc., 

Superintendent, Madras Government Museum. 



JAN iQ J 







%/ 




MADEAS: 
PRINTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, GOVT. PRESS. 



[Price, 12 annas.] 18 9 4. 




MADEAS GOVEENMENT MUSEUM. 



Bulletin 2fo. 1. 



PEARL AND CHANK FISHERIES 



OF THE 



GULF OF MANAAE. 



BY 

EDGAR THURSTON, c.m.z.s., etc., 

Superintendent, Madras Government Museum. 




MADRAS: 
PBINTED BY THE SUPEKINTENDENT, GOVT. PEESS. 

1894 . 



PEE FACE. 



In 1890, my ' Notes on the Pearl and Chank Fisheries and 
Marine Fauna of the Gulf of Manaar ' were published in a 
single volume ; and a friendly critic pointed out that the 
effect thereof was somewhat marred by their publication 
together, and by the arrangement adopted. 

The edition being exhausted, and fresh material awaiting 
incorporation, I have taken advantage of the opportunity 
to commence a series of bulletins, dealing with the results 
of my wanderings on behalf of the Madras Museum ; and 
send forth the first issue in the form of a revised edition of 
the ' Note on Pearl and Chank Fisheries,' leaving the 
1 Marine Fauna of the Gulf of Manaar ' to be dealt with 
hereafter. 

EDGAR THURSTON, 



CONTENTS 



Tuticorin Pearl Fishery 1-28 

Ceylon Pearl Fishery, 1889 29-35 

Inspection of Ceylon Pearl Banks 3 6 _ 54 

Tuticorin Chank Fishery 55-62 



DESCRIPTION OF PLATES. 



PLATE I. 



Pearl oyster (natural size) with, one valve of the shell removed :— 
a. byssus filaments with fragments of coral, from which they have 

been torn by the diver, attached ; 
h. addnctor muscle j 

c. ' ovarium, ' wherein the pearls are situated; 

d. mantle. 

PLATE II. 

Fig. I. Section of pearl oyster, magnified : — 

a. alimentary canal ; 

6. liver; 
c, c. generative tubes ; 

d. organ of Bojanus. 
e, e. sections of parasites encysted between the alimentary canal and 
generative tubes. 

Fig. II. Section of pearl oyster, magnified, showing portion of the 
byssus gland with the filaments arranged in laminae, and in- 
vested by muscular and connective tissue. 

PLATE III. 

Fig. I. Section of pearl oyster, less highly magnified than the preceding, 
showing the byssus gland with its lamina?, invested by muscular and 
connective tissue, and surrounded by generative tubes. 

Fig. II. Section of pearl oyster, magnified, showing ovum imbedded 
among generative tubes. 

PLATE III-A. 

Specimen of Rhinodon typicus preserved in the Madras Museum (length 
22 feet). 

PLATE IY. 

Chank shell (Turlinella rapa), natural size. 



" Know yon, perchance, how that poor formless wretch — 
The Oyster — gems his shallow moonlit chalice ? 
Where the shell irks him, or the sea-sand frets, 
This lovely lustre on his grief." 

Edwin Arnold. 



I.—TUTICORIN PEARL FISHERY. 



Tuticorin, the " scattered town/' situated in the Tinne- 
velly district on the south-west coast of the Gulf of Manaar, 
from which the Madras Government pearl fisheries are 
conducted, is, according to Sir Edwin Arnold, 1 a sandy 
maritime little place, which fishes a few pearls, produces 
and sells the great pink conch shells, exports rice and 
baskets, and is surrounded on the land side by a wilderness 
of cocoa and palmyra palms. Summed up in these few 
words, it does not appear the important place which, in spite 
of its lowly aspect when viewed from the sea and the seem- 
ing torpor which reveals itself to the casual visitor, it is in 
reality. For not only is it a medium of communication 
between Tinnevelly and Ceylon, to and from which hosts of 
coolies are transported in the course of every year, but it is 
also an important mercantile centre for the shipment of 
Tinnevelly cotton (the most valuable of the cottons grown 
in the Madras Presidency), jaggery, 2 (molasses), onions, 
chillies, etc. 

"With respect to the shipment of jaggery, I was told, 
during a visit to Tuticorin, that, during the seasons at which 
jelly-fish abound in the muddy surface water of the Tuticorin 
harbour, so great is the dread of their sting, that coolies, 
engaged in carrying loads of jaggery on their heads through 
the shallow water to the cargo boats, have been known to 
refuse to enter the water until a track, free from jelly-fish, 
was cleared for them by two canoes dragging a net between 
them. 



1 India Re-visited^ 1887. 

2 " The fresh juice of the palmyra palm, if boiled down, yields 
molasses or jaggery, from which sngar may be refined. The juice collected 
for this purpose has a small piece of lime placed in it to prevent fermenta- 
tion while suspended from the tree."— (Die*. Econom. Prod.). 



8 

Tuticorin is, indeed, as Sir Edwin Arnold records, " an 
abominable place to land at." Nature Las unfortunately 
ordained that large vessels are unable to approach nearer 
to the shore than a distance of six miles or thereabouts. 
A due regard for their safety compels them to lie at 
anchor outside Hare Island, one of a number of coral-girt 
islands in the neighbourhood, whore hares and partridges 
may be shot, and sluggish holuthurians (beches tie wrier) 
captured in abundance at low tide as they lie impassive 
on the sandy shore, which is strewed with broken coral 
fragments, detached by wave-action from the neighbouring 
reef, and riddled with the burrows of nimble ocypods (0. 
macrocera and 0. ceratopMJialma.) 

Not far from the north end of the town of Tuticorin, on 
the sandy shore, are the kilns, in which corals, coarse 
mollusc shells (Ostrcea, Venus, Cardium, &c.) and melo- 
besian nodules (calcareous algae) are burned and con- 
verted into chwidm? i.e., prepared lime used for building 
purposes, and by natives for chewing with their beloved 
betel (the leaves of Piper Betle). A Native friend informs 
me that in Northern India pearls are bought by wealthy 
natives to be used instead of chunam with the betel. In 
India relations and friends put rice into the mouth of the 
dead before cremation, while in China seed pearls are used 
for the same purpose. 

During my visit to Tuticorin in 1887, I used to watch, 
almost daily, grand, massive blocks of Porites, AstrcRa, and 
various species of other reef-building coral genera, being 
brought in canoes from the reefs, and thrown into the 
ground to form the foundation of the new cotton mills, 
which, in consequence, bear the name of the Coral Mills. 

Lecturing at the Royal Institution 4 on the " Structure* 
Origin, and Distribution of Coral Reefs and Islands," 
Mr. John Murray stated that " if we except Bermuda and 
one or two other outlying reefs where the temperature may 
occasionally fall to 66° Fahr. or 64° Fahr., it may be said 
that reefs are never found where the surface temperature of 
the water, at any time of the year, sinks below 70° Fahr., 
and where the annual range is greater than 12° Fahr. In 
typical coral reef regions, however, the temperature is 

8 The familiar house frog (Uhacophorus maculatus) of Madras is popu* 
1 arly known as the chunam frog from its habit of sticking by means of the 
discs on its toes on to the chunam walls of dwelling houses. 
* March 16, 1888* 



9 



Range. 


Min. 


Max. 


9° 


75° 


84° 


6° 


78° 


84° 


9° 


80° 


89° 


12° 


79° 


91° 


13° 


83° 


96° 


9° 


86° 


95° 


10° 


86° 


96° 


11° 


84° 


95° 


9° 


85° 


94° 


6° 


80° 


86° 


r 


79° 


86° 


n° 


75° 


86° 



higher and the range much less." No regular series of 
records of the temperature of the water in the coral-bearing 
Gulf of Manaar has as yet been made. The surface tem- 
perature, which I recorded from time to time during my 
visit to Ramesvaram island in the latter half of July, 1888, 
varied from 79° Fahr. to 91° Fahr. between the hours of 
7 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

The following table shows the temperature range of 
Tuticorin during the year 1887, the readings being taken 
in the shade at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. : — 

January 

February 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August 

September 

October 

November 

December 

Tuticorin has been celebrated for its pearl fishery from 
a remote date, and, as regards comparatively modern times, 
Friar Jordanus, a missionary bishop, who visited India 
about the year 1330, tells us that as many as 8,000 boats 
were then engaged in the pearl fisheries of Tinnevelly and 
Ceylon. 

In more recent times the fishery has been conducted, 
successively, by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the 
English. The following excellent description by Martin of 
the pearl fishery in the year 1700, during the Dutch occu- 
pation of Tuticorin, shows that the method of fishing 
adopted at that time agrees, in its essential characteristics, 
with that which is in vogue at the present day : — 

" In the early part of the year the Dutch sent out ten or 
twelve vessels in different directions to test the localities in 
which it appeared desirable that the fishery of the year should 
be carried on ; and from each vessel a few divers were let down 
who brought up each a few thousand oysters, which were 
heaped upon the shore in separate heaps of a thousand each, 
opened and examined. If the pearls found in each heap were 
found by the appraisers to be worth an ecu or more, the beds from 
which the oysters were taken were held to be capable of yielding 
a rich harvest ; if they were worth no more than thirty sous, the 

2 



10 

beds were considered unlikely to yield a profit over and above 
the expense of working them. As soon as the testing was com- 
pleted, it was publicly announced either that there would, or that 
there would not be a fishery that year. In the former case 
enormous crowds of people assembled on the coast on the day 
appointed for the commencement of the fishery ; traders came 
there with wares of all kinds ; the roadstead was crowded with 
shipping ; drums were beaten, and muskets fired ; and every- 
where the greatest excitement prevailed, until the Dutch 
Commissioners arrived from Colombo with great pomp, and 
ordered the pr6ceedings to be opened with a salute of cannon. 
Immediately afterwards the fishing vessels all weighed anchor 
and stood out to sea, preceded by two large Dutch sloops, which 
in due time drew off to the right and left and marked the limits 
of the fishery, and when each vessel reached its place, half of 
its complement of divers plunged into the sea, each with a heavy 
stone tied to his feet to make him sink rapidly, and furnished 
with a sack into which to put his oysters, and having a rope 
tied round his body, the end of which was passed round a 
pulley and held by some of the boatmen. Thus equipped, the 
diver plunged in, and on reaching the bottom, filled his sack 
with oysters until his breath failed, when he pulled a string 
with which he was provided, and, the signal being perceived by 
the boatmen above, he was forthwith hauled up by the rope, 
together with his sack of oysters. No artificial appliances of any 
kind were used to enable the men to stay under water for long 
periods ; they were accustomed to the work almost from infancy, 
and consequently did it easily and well. Some were more skil- 
ful and lasting than others, and it was usual to pay them in 
proportion to their powers, a practice which led to much 
emulation and occasionally to fatal results. Anxious to outdo 
all his fellows, a diver would sometimes persist in collecting 
until he was too weak to pull the string, and would be drawn 
up at last half or quite drowned, and very*often a greedy man 
would attack and rob a successful neighbour under water ; and 
instances were known in which divers who had been thus treated 
took down knives, and murdered their plunderers at the bottom 
of the sea. As soon as all the first set of divers had come up, 
and their takings had been examined and thrown into the hold, 
the second set went down. After an interval, the first set dived 
again, and after them the second ;.and so on turn by turn. The 
work was very exhausting, and the strongest man could not 
dive oftener than seven or eight times in a day, so that the days' 
diving was finished always before noon. 

" The diving over, the vessels returned to the coast and 
discharged their cargoes ; and the oysters were all thrown into 
a kind of park, and left for two or three days, at the end of 
which they opened and disclosed their treasures. The pearls, 
having been extracted from the shells, and carefully washed, 



11 

were placed in a metal receptacle containing some five or six 
colanders of graduated sizes, which were fitted one into another 
so as to leave a space between the bottoms of every two, and 
were pierced with holes of varying sizes, that which had the 
largest holes being the topmost . colander, and that which had 
the smallest being the undermost. When dropped into colander 
No. 1, all but the very finest pearls fell through into No. 2, and 
most of them passed into Nos. 3, 4, and 5 ; whilst the smallest 
of all, the seeds, were strained off into the receptacle at the 
bottom. When all had staid in their proper colanders, they 
were classified and valued accordingly. The largest, or those 
of the first class, were the most valuable, and it is expressly 
stated in the letter from which this information is extracted 
that the value of any given pearl was appraised almost exclu- 
sively with reference to its size, and was held to be affected 
but little by its shape and lustre. The valuation over, the 
Dutch generally bought the finest pearls. They considered 
that they had a right of pre-emption. At the same time they 
did not compel individuals to sell, if unwilling. All the pearls 
taken on the first day belonged by express reservation to the 
King or to the Setupati according as the place of their taking 
lay off the coasts of the one or the other. The Dutch did not, as 
Was often asserted, claim the pearls taken on the second day. 
They had other and more certain modes of making profit, of 
which the very best was to bring plenty of cash into a market 
where cash was not very plentiful, and so enable themselves to 
purchase at very easy prices. The amount of oysters found in 
different years varied infinitely. Some years the divers had only 
to pick up as fast as they were able, and as long as they could 
keep under water ; in others they could only find a few here 
and there. In 1700 the testing was most encouraging, and an 
unusually large number of boat-owners took out licenses to fish ; 
but the season proved most disastrous. Only a few thousands 
were taken on the first day by all the divers together, and a day 
or two afterwards not a single oyster could be found. It was 
supposed by many that strong under-currents had suddenly set 
in owing to some unknown cause. Whatever the cause, the 
results of the failure were most ruinous. Several merchants had 
advanced large sums of money to the boat-owners on speculation, 
which were, of course, lost. The boat-owners had in like manner 
advanced money to the divers and others, and they also lost their 
money." 

In the present century the following fisheries have 
taken place : — 

1822 

1830 

1860-62 

1889 

1890 



, . 


.. profit £13,000 


. . 


4o. £10,000 


. . 


do. Rs. 3,79,297 


, , 


do. ,, 1,58,483 




do. „ 7,803 



12 

As to the cause of the failure of the pearl oysters to 
reach maturity on the banks in large numbers, in recent 
times, except after long intervals, I for my part confess 
my ignorance. Whether the baneful influence of the 
mollusca known locally as stiran (Modiola, sp.) and killikay 
(Avicula, sp.), the ravages of rays (Trygon, &c.) and file- 
fishes (Batistes), poaching, the deepening of the Pamban 
channel, or currents are responsible for the non-produc- 
tion of an abundant crop of adult pearl-producing oysters 
during more than a quarter of a century (1862-89) it would 
be impossible to decide, until our knowledge of the con- 
ditions under which the pearl oysters live is much more 
precise than it is at present. 

The argument that the failure of the pearl fishery is 
due to poaching is from time to time, brought forward; 
but, as Mr. H. S. Thomas wisely and characteristically 
remarks : 5 " The whole system of the fishery has been 
carefully arranged, so that every one in any way connected 
with it has a personal stake in preventing poaching, and 
oyster poaching is not a thing that can be done in the 
night;.it must be carried out in broad daylight; and, to 
be worth doing at all, it must be done on a large scale. 
Ten thousand oysters cannot be put in one's pocket like a 
rabbit, nor are there express trains and game-shops to take 
them. Every single oyster has to be manipulated, and it 
is only the few best that can be felt at once with the finger, 
and the usual way is to allow the oyster to rot and wash 
away from the pearl. Oysters could not be consigned 
fresh in boxes or hampers by rail to distant confederates ; 
tbey could not even be landed without its becoming 
known ; and, if known, every one is interested in informing 
the Government officer and stopping poaching/' I cannot, 
however, refrain from quoting the following touching de- 
scription of an ideal poach in a recent pamphlet : " Mutu- 
kuruppan and Kallymuttu are two fishermen brothers : 
they start out after their cold rice, ostensibly to get 
their lines ready in their canoe, and paddle away to their 
fishing ground ; there they drop their stone anchor : pre- 
sently one observes that it is warm and he would like a 
bathe ; over the side he goes down by his mooring rope to 
see what the bottom is like. He brings up a handful of 
oysters and gives them to Thamby ; then Thamby thinks 

5 Vide Report on Pearl Fisheries and Chank Fisheries, 1884, by the 
Hon. Mr. H. S. Thomas, 



18 

he would like a bathe, and he goes down also, and brings 
up a fist full. When they are tired, they get back into the 
canoe and open their spoils, taking out what pearls they 
can find, and pitching the shells back into the sea. This 
sort of thing goes on day after day and year after year up 
and down the coast, and this will partially account for 
the dead shells so often found on the banks. Is it to be 
wondered at that oysters take alarm at this constant 
invasion of their domain and naturally seek some other 
place of rest ? " 

Far more prejudicial to the welfare of the oysters than 
an occasional raid upon them by a stray Mutukurupam or 
Kallymuttu is, in all probability, the little mollusc, siiran, 
which clusters in dense masses over large areas of the sea 
bottom, spreading over the surface of cora] blocks, smother- 
ing and crowding out the recently deposited and delicate 
young of the oyster. Time after time there is, in the care- 
fully kept records of the superintendent of the pearl banks, 
in one year a note of the presence of young oysters, either 
pure or mixed with siiran and mud or weed, while, at the 
next time of examination, generally in the following year, 
it is noted that the oysters have disappeared, and the siiran 
remained. A few examples will suffice to make this point 
clear ; — 

Devi Par 6 — to 6£ to 7£ fathoms. 

May. 1881. Young oysters mixed with sooram 7 and mud. 
,, 1882. Sooram. 

Permandu Par — 6 to 6% fathoms. 

May, 1880. A few oysters of one year age. 
„ 1881. Young oysters mixed with sooram and mud. 
„ 1882. Sooram. 

Athombadu Par — 7f to 9 fathoms. 

May, 1880. Covered with sooram. 

,, 1881. Large number of oysters of one year age, with 

sooram in some places and covered with weeds. 
„ 1882. No oysters ; sooram in some places. 

The bank, which was fished during the fishery of 1889, is 
situated about 10 miles east of Tuticorin, and known as the 



Par or paar = bank. 7 Sooram — suram* 



14 



Tholayirani Par, the condition of which, as regards oyster 
supply, since the year I860, is shown by the following 
extract from the records of the superintendent of pearl 
banks i — 



April, 1860. 
Nov., 1861. 
April, 
Nov., 
April, 



Nov., 

April, 

Mar., 

Feb., 

May, 

Jan., 

Mar., 



1863. 
1865."| 

1866. | 

1867. > Blank. 



Plenty of oysters 3£ years old. 

Oysters scarce ; nearly all gone. 

Sooram and killikay with some young oysters. 



1869 
1871. 
1872. 
1873. 
1875. 
1876. 



j 



April, 1877. 

„ 1878. 
May, 1879 

„ 1880 

„ 1881. 

„ 1882. 
April, 1883. 
Mar., 1884. 



:! 



Five oysters with a quantity of sooram. 

Five oysters of 3 years age found. 

Three oysters found. 

Three oysters of 2 years age found. 

North part blank. 

South part blank. 

Thickly stocked with oysters of 1 year age. 

Blank. 



and 



Some oysters of 1 year mixed with killikay. 
No living oysters ; dead shells and sooram. 
Three oysters found. 

Plenty of oysters of one year age ; clean 
healthy. 

From 1884 the Tholayiram Par was carefully watched, 
and the growth of the oysters continued steadily, unchecked 
by adverse conditions, as the following figures show : — 



I^March, 
October, 
March, 
October, 
10 shells lif ted. «< April, 

November, 
March, 
October, 
^November, 



1884 weighed 1 oz. 



1885 
1886 



1887 
1888 



H 

7 

iof 

13 

15i 



In November, 1888, 15,000 oysters were lifted, and their 
product valued by expert pearl merchants at Rs. 206-13-9, 
i.e. } Rs. 13-12-8 per thousand, 8 as shown by the following 
copy of the statement of valuation : — 



8 The product of 12,000 oysters lifted from the Ceylon pearl bank, 
the fishing of which took place synchronously with that of the Tuticorin 
bankj in November, 1888, was valued at Rs. 122. A further sample of 
12,650 oysters, lifted in February, 1889, was valued atRs. 142* 



15 



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16 

It may not be out of place to elucidate the meaning of 
some of the terms used in the above statement, and I cannot 
do better than quote from the excellent article on the Pearl 
Fisheries of Ceylon by Mr. Gr. Vane, CM.G., who writes as 
follows 9 : — 

" Sorting and sizing the pearls into ten different sizes, from 
the largest to the smallest, is done by passing them through ten 
brass sieves of 20, 30, 50, 80, 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1,000 

holes each of the ten sizes may include some of every class 

of pearls ; the 20 to 80 and 100 may each have the ani, anatari, 
and kallipu kinds, and this necessitates the operation of classing, 
which requires great judgment on the part of the valuers. 

" Perfection in pearls consists in shape and lustre, viz., 
sphericity and a silvery brightness, free from any discolouration ; 
and, according as the pearls possess these essentials, the valuers 
assign their appropriate class, namely, — 

" Ani . . . . Perfect in sphericity and lustre. 

" Anatari . . . . Followers or companions, but failing 

somewhat in point of sphericity or 
lustre. 

"Masanku.. .. Imperfect, failing in both points, espe- 

cially in brilliancy of colour. 

" Kallipu . . . . Failing still more in both points. 

" Kural . . . . A double pearl, sometimes ani. 

" Pisal .. .. Misshapen, clustered, more than two to 

each other. 

" Madanku .. Folded or bent pearls. 

" Vadivu .. .. Beauty of several sizes and classes. 

<< Tuj . . . . Small pearls of 800 to 1,000 size. 

" The pearls having been thus sized and classed, each class 
is weighed and recorded in kalanehu (kalungy) and rnahohddi 
(manjaday). 

" The kalanehu is a brass weight equal, it is said, to 67 grains 
Troy. The manchddi is a small red berry 10 ; each berry, when 
full sized, is of nearly, or exactly the same weight ; they are 
reckoned at twenty to the kalanehu. 

"The weights being ascertained, the valuation is then 
fixed to each pearl class or set of pearls according to the respec- 
tive sizes and classes : the inferior qualities solely according to 
weight in Tcalafichu and manchadi ; the superior ani, anatari, and, 
vadivu are not valued only by weight, but at so much per chevu 
of their weight, this chevu being the native or pearl valuer's 

9 Journal, Ceylon Branch, Royal Asiatic Society, 1887, vol. X, No. 34. 
Paper read at the Conference Meeting of the Colonial and Indian Exhi- 
bition, October 6, 1886. 

10 The seeds of Abrus precatorius, which are used in India for poisoning 
cattle. 



17 

mode of assigning the proper value by weight to a valuable 
article of small weight, form and colour also considered." 

The pearls of commerce are, of course, for the most part 
those which are formed within the soft tissues of the animal, 
and not the irregular pearly excrescences (oddumutta) which 
are found as outgrowths of the nacreous layer of the shell, 
frequently at the point of insertion of the adductor muscle. 
The nacreous layer of the Ghilf of Manaar pearl-oyster shell 
is very thin, and of small commercial value as compared 
with that of the pearl-oyster of Queensland and the Mergui 
Archipelago (Avicula mar gar it if era) ; and the shells, after 
the extraction of the pearls by the process of decomposition, 
are used mainly in the manufacture of chunam. The shells 
are, I believe, also exported to England from Ceylon for 
manufacture into buttons. 

As regards the cause of the formation of pearls, con- 
cerning which many theories have been hazarded, the most 
prevalent idea being that they are a morbid secretion 
produced as the result of disease, I may quote from the 
excellent ' Guide to the Shell and Starfish Galleries in the 
British Museum (Natural History)/ 1888, which tells us 
that "some small foreign body, which has accidentally pene- 
trated under the mantle and irritates the animal, is covered 
with successive concentric layers of nacre, thus attaining 
sometimes, but rarely, the size of a small filbert. The nacre 
is generally of the well-known pearly-white colour, very 
rarely dark, and occasionally almost black. 11 The effort 
of the animal to get rid of the irritation caused by a foreign 
substance between its valves, by covering it over with nacre, 
and thus converting it into a pearl, is strikingly illustrated 
by two specimens in which, in the one case, an entire fish, 
and, in the other, a small crab has been so enclosed." Ac- 
cording to Streeter 12 the nucleus of the pearl may be 
either a grain of sand, the frustule of a diatom, a minute 
parasite, or one of the ova of the oysters, thin layers of 
carbonate of lime being deposited around the object con- 
centrically, like the successive skins of an onion, until it is 
encysted. 

Writing in 1859 13 as to what may be termed the worm 
theory of pearl formation, Dr. Kelaart stated that " Mon- 

11 Among the pearls from the samples lifted at Tuticorin in November 
1888, there is one dumb-bell shaped specimen, of which one-half is white, 
the other dark brown. 

12 Pearls and Pearling Life, 1886. 

13 Report on the Natural History of the Pearl Oyster of Ceylon, 1858-59. 



18 

sieur Humbert, a Swiss zoologist, has, by his own obser- 
vations at the last pearl fishery, corroborated all I have 
stated about the ovaria or genital glands and their contents, 
and he has discovered, in addition to the filaria and cer- 
caria, three other parasitical worms infesting the viscera and 
other parts of the pearl oyster* We both agree that these 
worms play an important part in the formation of pearls, 
and it may yet be found possible to infect pearls in other 
beds with these worms, and thus increase the quantity of 
these gems. The nucleus of an American pearl drawn by 
Mobius is nearly of the same form as the cercaria found in 
the pearl oysters of Ceylon.''.' 

The Gulf of Manaar pearl oyster (Avicula fucata, Grould) 
is represented in plate I, as it appears after removal of one 
valve of the shell, the " ovarium," mantle, gills, adductor 
muscle and byssus being exposed. 

Plates II and III, reproduced from drawings made from 
micro -photographs of sections of a pearl oyster from the 
Tuticorin banks, illustrate some of the points in the structure 
of the animal. 

In plate II-2 and plate III-l, the byssus gland is shown 
with the parallel rows of laminae, to which are attached the 
numerous fine, green, silky filaments, of which the byssus is 
made up. This byssus is capable of being protruded be- 
yond or retracted within the shell, and by means of it the 
animal is able to anchor itself on the sea-bottom, to a neigh- 
bouring oyster or other molluscan shell, coral-rock, melobesian 
nodule, or other convenient object, and it is said that the 
animal can, even in the adult stage, voluntarily shift its 
quarters and migrate to a considerable distance. That the 
young oyster can, during its phase of existence as a minute, 
free-swimming organism, wander about and eventually settle 
down on some congenial spot no one will dispute ; but the 
evidence that the adult can, under natural conditions, migrate 
to any considerable distance is wholly insufficient, even 
though it has been demonstrated by experiments that a 
young pearl-oyster, under unnatural conditions in a soda- 
water tumbler full of sea-water can, though weighted with 
two other oysters of nearly its own size, climb up a smooth 
vertical surface at the rate of an inch in two minutes. 
The disappearance of about 150,000,000 oysters ripe for 
fishing from one of the Ceylon banks in 1888 must, 1 think, 
be attributed either to the action of a strong under- current 
which tore out the byssus from its gland, setting free the 
oysters from their moorings, or to one of those unknown 



Pled* I. 




LuJi. (iov- School rjf arL, CaLrjutta. 



PEARL OYSTER-- ONE VALVE 
OF THE SHELL REMOVED 



Plate II. 



Fiff.I. 




/?■ 



Fig. IT. 







Lith. Gov- School of art, CaLcuJJxx.. 

SECTIONS OF PEARL OYSTER. 



FIxjf* III. 



Ftq. L 




Fig. II 




Lith, Oo.j" School of Art, Calcutta.. 

ECTIONS OF PEARL OYSTER. 



19 

agencies by which gregarious animals, fishes, bivalve molluscs, 
&c, are occasionally known to be killed off wholesale and 
transported to a considerable distance. That the disappear- 
ance of the oysters was due to their voluntarily migrating, 
like snipe, seems improbable. 

In plate II-l the tissues which intervene between the 
alimentary canal and generative organs are seen to contain 
two parasites, which careful microscopical examination has 
shown to be undoubtedly larvae of some platyhelminthian 
(flat-worm), the life history of which is unknown, and would 
require long and patient inquiry to ascertain. Similar 
parasites were found, on microscopical examination, to be 
•very abundant in the alimentary canal, from which some of 
them must have bored their way, as ciliated larvae, into the 
surrounding tissues, while others remained to develop within 
the alimentary canal. It is not improbable that these minute 
parasites may form in the tissues foci favourable to the 
laying down of layer after layer of nacreous deposit. 

In plate III-2 an ovum is represented among the gene- 
rative glands. This ovum was the only one found during 
the examination of a number of sections ; and it has been 
suggested to me that it may be the ovum of fche parasite 
referred to. 

In September, 1890, 1 paid a hurried visit to Tuticorin in 
order to examine some living oysters, and the divers went 
out to the banks, and brought in a sample of about seventy 
oysters. The living animals I cut open by a vertical longi- 
tudinal section, and found, in a large majority of them, the 
genital duct occupied by a long, transparent, cylindrical, 
gelatinous body, which could be easily removed entire from 
the duct. Unfortunately I had no microscope with me, but 
a number of the tubes were placed in alcohol and submitted 
to microscopical examination on my return to Madras, small 
portions of the tubes being teased out on a slide and treated 
with various reagents. They were found to contain diatoms, 
and vast numbers of delicate sinuous bodies. In order to 
see if these bodies were possessed of motion, an attempt was 
made about a fortnight later to get some oysters alive in a 
tank of sea-water by train from Tuticorin to Madras. The 
hot railway journey, however, of nearly thirty hours proved 
fatal to them, though they were, on their arrival, sufficiently 
fresh for purposes of examination. The gelatinous bodies 
were now no longer present, and scrapings from the inter- 
nal surface of the duct only revealed under the microscope, 




20 

ciliated epithelium, leptothrix, &c. The conclusion which 
must, I think, be arrived at is that the sinuous bodies are the 
spermatozoa compacted by a gelatinous secretion into sper- 
matophores, and are probably subsequently discharged from 
the genital duct for the direct or indirect fertilisation of 
another oyster. 

The Tuticorin pearl fishery of 1889 was carried on from 
a temporary improvised village, erected on the barren sandy 
shore at Salapatturai, two miles north of the town, and built 
out of palmyra and bamboo, the inflammability of which 
was demonstrated on more than one occasion when the 
camp was, for a short time, in danger of being burnt to 
the ground. The village consisted of the divers' and mer- 
chants' quarters and bazars, where, as the fishing progressed, 
the product of the oysters was exposed for sale ; bungalows 
for the officials connected with the fishery ; a tent used by 
myself as a marine zoological laboratory ; dispensary ; 
kottus or koddus (i-e., enclosed spaces in which the count- 
ing, decomposition, and washing of the oysters are carried 
on) ; a Eoman Catholic chapel ; and the inevitable and 
highly necessary isolated cholera quarters. 

The fishery commenced on the 25th of February under a 
combination of adverse conditions which seriously affected 
the revenue, viz., the fact that the pearl bank was at a 
distance of ten miles from the shore and in 10 fathoms of 
water, and the co-existence of a fishery on the Ceylon coast, 
where the oysters were to be obtained at a distance of 
about five miles from the shore and at a depth of five to 
seven fathoms. The natural result was that the natives, 
more keen as to their own interests than those of the Govern- 
ment, went off with their boats from the Madras seaport 
towns of Pamban and Kilakarai to the Ceylon fishery, 
where they could earn their money more easily and with 
less discomfort than at Tuticorin, leaving the Tuticorin bank 
to be fished by a meagre fleet of about forty boats. 

An excellent account of the method of conducting 
the pearl fishery at Tuticorin has been published in the 
1 Hand-Book of Directions to the Ports in the Presidency of 
Madras and Ceylon/ 1878, from which the following varies 
only in points of detail. 

The landwind, under favourable conditions, commences 
to blow soon after midnight, and a signal gun is fired by 
the beach master as a warning that the fleet of native boats, 
each with its complement of native divers, can start out to 



21 

sea. Their departure is accompanied by a good deal of 
noise and excitement. The bank should be reached by 
daylight , and the day's work commences on a signal being 
given from a schooner, which is moored on the bank 
throughout the fishery. An attempt is made to keep the 
boats together within an area marked out by buoys, so as 
to prevent the bank from being fished over in an irregular 
manner; and the temper of the European officer in charge 
of the schooner is sorely tried by the refusal of the boat- 
men to comply with the conditions. All being ready on 
board, a diving stone, weighing about thirty lbs., to which 
a rope is attached, and a basket or net fastened in a similar 
manner, are placed over the boat's side. The ropes are 
grasped by the diver (who wears no diving dress) in his 
left hand, and, placing a foot on the stone, he draws a deep 
breath, and closes his nostrils with his right hand, or with 
a metal nose clip which he wears suspended round his neck 
by a string. At a given signal the ropes are let go, and 
the diver soon reaches the bottom, his arrival there being 
indicated by the slackening of the rope. He then gets off 
the diving stone, which is drawn up to the surface, and, 
after filling the basket or net with oysters, if he is on a 
fertile spot, gives the rope a jerk, and comes up to the 
surface to regain his breath. 

The contents of the basket or net are emptied into the 
boat, and the live oysters separated from the dead shells, 
debris, &c. The divers work in pairs, two to each stone, 
and the oysters which they bring up are kept separate from 
those of the other divers. A good diver will remain .below 
the surface about fifty seconds, and, in exceptional cases, 
sixty, seventy, or even ninety seconds. 

The largest number of oysters collected as the result of 
a single day's fishing by forty-one boats during my visit 
to the fishery was 241,000, giving an average of 5,878 
oysters per boat; a very small quantity when compared 
with the results of the Ceylon fishery in 1857, when the 
daily yield varied from one to one and-a-half million oysters, 
some boats bringing loads of thirty to forty thousand. 

From experiments made with divers equipped with 
diving helmets, gathering stones instead of oysters, by 
Mr. Thorowgood when Superintendent of the Madras Har- 
bour Works, it was calculated H that a pair of helmeted 

14 Vide Madras Board of Revenue Resolution, No. 677, 3rd August, 
1888. 8 



22 

divers could together send up 12,000 shells an hour in 
shallow water, or, allowing for delay in hauling up in 12 
fathoms of water, say, 9,000 shells an hour ; and as, allow- 
ing for shifts, each diver should work four hours a day, the 
quantity sent up by a pair of divers in a day would be 
respectively 4 x 12,000 = 48,000, or 4 x 9,000 = 36,000 
shells a day, which is equivalent to the work of 24 or 18 
naked native divers sending up 2,000 shells a day. 

The results of the work done by the two helraeted divers 
who were employed as an experiment at the Tuticorin 
fishery for some inexplicable reason fell far short of this 
estimate, and compared very unfavourably with the work 
done by the skilled native divers without helmets. 

The diving operations cease for the day some time after 
noon, and the boats, if aided by a favourable sea breeze, 
reach the shore by 4 p.m., their arrival being awaited by 
large crowds of natives, some of whom come from curiosity, 
others to speculate on a small scale. On reaching the shore 
the boats are quickly made fast in the sand, and the oysters 
carried on the heads of the divers into the kottu, where they 
are divided into separate heaps, each set of divers dividing 
their day's haul into three equal portions. One of these, 
selected by the Superintendent of the fishery or some other 
official, becomes the property of the divers, who quickly 
remove their share from the kottu, and, squatting on the 
sand, put their oysters up for sale at prices varying from 
about fifteen to forty for a rupee. On the first day of the 
fishery the oysters, for a short and, to the divers, lucrative 
time,. were sold for four annas a piece. The two heaps 
which are left by the divers in the kottu, become the pro- 
perty of Government, and are counted by coolies engaged 
for the purpose. Usually about 6 p.m. the Government 
oysters are sold by public auction, duly announced by tom- 
tom, and put up in lots of one thousand. The purchaser 
can, subject to the consent of the auctioneer, take a certain 
number of thousands at the same rate as his winning bid. 
Occasionally a combination is organised among the mer- 
chants who are buying on a large scale, and come to the 
auction determined not to bid more than a very small fixed 
sum per thousand. A struggle then takes place between 
the auctioneer and merchants, the former refusing to sell, 
the latter refusing to raise their price ; and the struggle 
invariably ends in the collapse of the merchants, when they 
find that their supply of oysters is cut off. No credit is 
allowed, and the buyers, as soon as they have paid their 



23 

money into the treasury, remove their oysters to the washing 
kottus, or send them away up-country by railway. 

Buyers of oysters on a very small scale open them at 
once with a knife, and extract the pearls by searching about 
in the flesh of the animal ; but, by this method, a number of 
the very small pearls are missed, and it would be impossible 
to carry it out when dealing with oysters in large numbers. 
Boiling the oysters in water and subsequent extraction of 
the pearls from the dried residue might be, with advantage, 
resorted to as a more wholesome and less unsavoury process 
than the one which is resorted to of leaving the oysters 
to putrify in the sun, and subsequently extracting the 
pearls from the residue after it has been submitted to 
repeated washings to free it from the prevailing maggots, 
pulpy animal matter, sand, &c The process of putrefaction 
is greatly aided by flies — big red-eyed blue-bottles. At the 
Ceylon pearl fishery, which I was sent to inspect on the 
termination of my work at Tuticorin, the merchants com- 
plained at first of the scarcity of flies ; but, later on, there was 
no cause for complaint, as they were present not only in the 
kottus, but in other parts of the camp, in such enormous 
numbers as to form a veritable plague, covering our clothes 
with a thick black mass, and rendering the taking of food 
and drink a difficult and unpleasant process until the even- 
ing, when they went to rest after twelve hours of unceasing 
activity. 

To those who are in authority, a pearl fishery is a time 
of constant anxiety. The probabilities are delightful, but 
the possibilities are frightful. When all goes well a fishery 
is a time of money-making to all concerned, to the Govern- 
ment, the merchants, the divers and boatmen. But there is 
to those who are responsible the constant dread of epidemic 
disease — notably cholera — which may appear at any mo- 
ment and ruin the expectation of a prosperous fishery. Such 
an invasion of cholera, bringing with it death and panic, 
I witnessed in 1889 at the Ceylon fishery, which collapsed 
entirely in consequence thereof, the camp being burned 
down and the fleet of nearly two hundred boats, with their 
panic-stricken crews, disappearing within the space of only 
a few hours. 

The prospects of a pearl fishery may, when success 
seems certain, be abruptly ruined by accidents from sharks, 
of which the divers have a superstitious but not altogether 
unreasonable dread. Before the fishery of 1889, I read in 
the Times of Ceylon, that there were 150 boats, with their full 



24 

complement of men, all waiting at Kilakarai on the Madras 
coast in readiness to proceed to the scene of the fishery, 
after some festivities, which were to take place on a stated 
day, and at which prayers were to be offered for protection 
against the attacks of sharks. " The only precaution," 
Tennent writes, 15 ° to which the Ceylon diver devotedly 
resorts is the mystic ceremony of the shark- charmer, whose 
power is believed to be hereditary, nor is it supposed 
that the value of his incantations is at all dependent upon 
the religious faith professed by the operator, for the present 
head of the family happens to be a Roman Catholic. At 
the time of our visit this mysterious functionary was ill and 
unable to attend ; but he sent an accredited substitute, who 
assured me that, although he was himself ignorant of the 
grand and mystic secret, the fact of his presence, as a re- 
presentative of the higher authority, would be recognised and 
respected by the sharks." At the Tuticorin fishery in 1890 
a scare was produced by a diver being bitten by a shark, 
but the scare subsided as soon as a " wise woman " was 
employed by the divers. Her powers do not, however, seem 
to have been great, for more cases of shark bite occurred, and 
the fishery had to be stopped in consequence at a time when 
favourable breezes, clear water, plenty of boats, and oysters 
selling at from Rs. 22 to Rs. 31 per thousand indicated a 
successful financial result. 

As a means of keeping sharks off Captain Donnan, the 
superintendent of Ceylon pearl fisheries, took with him to 
the pearl banks in 1891 a number of specially-prepared 
cartridges, which he meant to try the effect of exploding 
daily under water in the event of sharks putting in an 
appearance. Before the commencement of the fishery, he 
exploded a cartridge suspended midway between the surface 
and the bottom to try the effect produced at a distance. The 
Government divers were down at the bottom at the time of 
the explosion at a distance of half to three quarters of a mile, 
and they said that the sound of the explosion was very dis- 
tinct, and that they were satisfied that it would have fright- 
ened the sharks away. 

Where, as in a pearl-fishing camp, a mass of uneducated 
men of strong passions and good physique, belonging to 
different countries and of different religious persuasions, is 
gathered together, it is not unnatural that serious conflicts 
should at times arise, which require the presence of a com- 

15 Ceylon, 1860, vol. II, pp. 564-65. 



25 

petent police force, and prompt and judicious magisterial 
action. At the Ceylon fishery of 1890 the Government agent 
had to deal promptly with a disturbance in which the Arab 
divers were the aggressors. " Yesterday " writes the Ceylon 
Observer, " there was a wild scene. The * Perseverance ' 
started somewhat late for the banks. On her way out she 
picked up and took in tow several boats that were unable to 
get out. One of these contained Arab divers, and another 
which was being towed alongside contained Tamils. The 
Arabs wanted the Tamils to drop their boat astern to prevent 
the wash of the sea getting into their boat, but the Tamils 
very naturally refused. This was quite enough for the 
Arabs : ever ready for a row. They jumped into the Tamil 
boat and commenced to slack the rope. This was resented by 
the Tamils, and the result was a pitched^ battle, very warm 
while it lasted. The ' Perseverance ' put back, picking up 
on her way some twelve or fourteen divers who had fallen or 
else been knocked into the water in the course of the fight. 
The Arabs were the smaller body in point of numbers, and 
got a thorough thrashing. One man had several of his front 
teeth knocked down his throat, while another had an eye 
knocked out, and probably, if the fight had occurred further 
out at sea, some of the men would have lost their lives. " 

. For months after the conclusion of a pearl fishery poor 
natives may be seen hunting in the sand on the site of the 
pearl camp for pearls; audit is reported that in 1797 a 
common fellow, of the lowest class, thus got by accident the 
most valuable pearl seen that season, and sold it for a large 
sum. 

The experiments of Sarasin and Pol showed that an electric 
light was distinctly seen at a depth of 33 metres, at 67 
metres the clear image being replaced by a diffuse light 
faintly perceptible. Towards the latter end of 1888 it 
was suggested that an electric light apparatus should be 
acquired in connection with the pearl fishery, by means of 
which one would be able to examine the condition of the 
bank from the deck of a ship, and which, it was thought, 
would help to solve the enigmas that still hang about the 
migrations of the pearl-oyster. The notice of Government 
was drawn to the fact that a boat had been fitted up with a 
brush-dynamo and electric globe for the pearl fishery in 
South Australia by a Glasgow firm. During a short visit to 
Europe in 1888, 1 made a series of inquiries as to the possi- 
bility of obtaining a light, such as was required ; but, 

4 



26 

though there was abundant evidence as to the usefulness of 
the electric light for surface work, salvage operations, and 
scientific dredging, 16 the general opinion of those best quali- 
fied to judge was that it would, for the proposed purpose, 
be a failure. It has been suggested by Mr. Phipps, who 
was for many years superintendent of the Tuticorin pearl 
banks, that, if a sheet of thick glass could be let into the 
lower plates of a vessel and there protected both outside 
and inside in some way from accident, a study of the sea- 
bottom in clear water, either by day with the sun's rays or 
by night by the use of a powerful electric light, might be 
made. In a letter to Government Mr. Fryer, Iuspector of 
Fisheries, makes the sound suggestion " that the observa- 
tions which the Government of Madras desire to make 
upon the habits of the pearl-oysters would be greatly facili- 
tated by the employment of a diver equipped with an 
ordinary diving dress. By this means a prolonged stay 
could be made by an observer on the sea-bottom, who could 
not only make an accurate survey of the bed, but could 
periodically examine the same ground, select specimens, and 
make minute observations, which would be impossible to a 
native diver, whose stay at the bottom is limited to a minute 
or so." To these remarks I may add my own experience at 
the Tuticorin fishery, where, by examination of the shells of 
the oysters brought up by the divers, by expending small 
sums of money which tempted the native divers to bring 
me such marine animals as they met with at the sea-bottom, 
by conversation with the European diver, who was, further, 
able to bring up large coral blocks (Porites, Madrepora, 
Hydnophora, Pocillopora, Turbinaria, &c.) for examination, 
and by dredging, I was able to form some idea as to the 
conditions under which the pearl-oysters were living. On 
clear days it was possible to distinguish the sandy from the 
rocky patches by the effect of light and shade, and from 
hauls of the dredge over the former not only many mol- 
lusca, &c, but also specimens of Branchiostoma, sp. 17 
(Lancelot) were obtained, of which the largest measured 
two inches in length. Mollusca were also obtained in. 



16 Vide Herdman's Second Annual Report on the Puffin Island Biologica 
Station. 

17 Specimens of Amphioxus belcheri, Gray, were obtained by Mr. Giles 
when dredging from the Marine Survey SS. ' Investigator ' off Seven 
Pagodas (Mahabalipuram) 30 miles south of Madras during the season 
1887-88. 



27 

great variety by passing the debris, which was swept 
from the floor of the kottu every day after the oysters 
have been cleared away, through sieves. The big Murex 
anguliferus (elephant chank) was brought in from the banks 
by the divers nearly every day, and the animal served 
up for their hard-earned evening meal. The oysters shells 
were largely encrusted with bright-coloured sponges, of 
which the most conspicuous was Glathria indica, an 
erect-growing bright red species, recorded as a new 
species by Mr. Dendy.in his report on my second collection 
of sponges from the Gulf of Manaar. 18 Very abundant, too, 
was the large cup-shaped Petrosia testudinaria, of which a 
specimen in the Madras Museum measures 1'5 feet in 
height. Enveloping the oyster shells were tangled masses 
of marine algas, 19 and floating in deuse masses on the 
surface was the Sargasso weed, Sargasmm vulgare. The 
various minute living organisms entangled in the meshes 
of the algae must serve as an efficient food-supply for the 
oysters. The outer surface of the living oyster shells 
was frequently covered with delicate bryozoa, which also 
flourished on the internal surface of the dead shells in the 
form of flat or arborescent colonies. In no single instance 
did I see an oyster sheli from the Tuticorin bank encrusted 
with coral ; whereas at the Ceylon fishery, and on the 
occasion of my subsequent inspection of the Ceylon pearl 
banks, I found the surface of a large number of the shells, 
both dead and living., covered, and frequently entirely 
hidden from view by delicate branching Madrepora or 
Pocillopora, or the more massive Astrcea, Coeloria, Hydno- 
phora, Galaxea, &c. A specimen of Galaxea encrusting a 
single valve of an oyster shell, which I picked up on the 
shore and is now in the Madras Museum, weighed as much 
as 5 oz. 15 dwts. 

Several species of echinoderm, which had not previously 
been recorded from the coast of the Madras Presidency, 20 
were brought up by the divers, and were identified by 
my friend Professor Jeffrey Bell. Of recorded species 
those which were brought on shore most frequently were 
the crimson-lake coloured Oreaster linchi, and the long- 
armed, usually salmon-coloured Linckia Icevigata, and, not 

18 Ann. Mag., Nat. Hist., Feb. 1889. 

19 The collection of algae made at Tuticorin has been sent to Mr. G. 
Murray, of the British Museum (Nat. History) for identification. 

20 Vide Proc, Zool. 8oc. f Lond., June 19, 1888. 



28 

unfrequently, dense clusters of Antedon palmata were found 
in crevices hollowed out in coral blocks, from which also, 
when broken open, specimens of ophiuroids (commonly 
met with their arms turned round the branches of a Gorgo- 
nia, or in the canal system of sponges), chaetopods, crusta- 
ceans, and stone-boring mollusca (Lithodomus, Parapholas, 
Venerupis, &c.) were obtained. 



29 



II.— CEYLON PEARL FISHERY, 1889. 



On the completion of my investigations at the Tuticorin 
pearl fishery in 1889, I proceeded, in compliance with in- 
structions received from the Madras Government fco Ceylon, 
to report on the pearl fishery which was being carried out 
on the Muttuwartu. par (or bank) off Dutch Bay. 

It was originally intended that I should travel up the 
coast by S.S. 'Active ' ; but, as she was laden with stores 
for the pearl camp, there was no available space, and I had, 
unfortunately, to wait for a passage on the small coasting 
steamer ' Prince Alfred ', which left Colombo two days 
later. As we neared Dutch Bay, on the shore of which the 
pearl camp was located, in the early morning, the familiar 
odour of decomposing oysters was perceptible some distance 
out at sea, and we watched a few boats at work on the pearl 
bank. Arrived at the camp, 1 found Mr. Twynham, the 
Government Agent, Captain Donnan (whose name is con- 
nected with a Gulf of Manaar sponge, Axinella donnani), and 
other administrative officers living on board the schooner 
• Serendib ' moored close to the shore, communication with 
which was maintained by means of a gangway. Several 
deaths from cholera occurred on board during the return 
journey of the ' Serendib ' to Colombo, and, among others 
Captain Robson, who had acted as kotfcu superiutendent 
throughout the fishery, fell a victim to the dread disease. 

The few boats, which had been at work on the bank, 
were towed into the bay by the ' Active ', reaching the shore 
opposite the kottus before 4 p.m. I gathered that the steamer 
had been of very great service during the fishery ; for, with 
her assistance, not only were the boats enabled to get to 
and from the bank in spite of contrary winds, but the work 
of the divers, which is very severe, was considerably 
lightened by the simple fact that the steamer could bring 
them back at an early hour on days when, without her 
assistance, they would have been out at sea until late in the 
evening, and not inclined to start off for the bank on the 
following morning.* 

Fortunately I examined the oysters which were brought 
in by the boats ; for, as events turned out, it was my solitary 



30 

opportunity of making an examination thereof. I was at 
once struck with the fact that the shells of the oysters pre- 
sented an entirely different appearance to those of the 
Tholayiram par (Tuticorin) ; for, whereas the latter were 
enveloped in dense masses of algae (sea weeds) and the 
surface of the shells was covered by variously coloredbranch- 
ing and sessile encrusting sponges, the surface of the shells 
of the former which was uppermost during life was, in very 
many cases, covered over by young stony corals, which, ac- 
cording to the species, formed either encrusting masses or 
branching tufts. A series of specimens of the shells, with 
the attached corals, many of which were to be seen lying 
strewn along the sandy shores of the bay, discarded by natives 
after extraction of their contents, has been deposited in the 
Madras Museum, where they form a very attractive exhibit. 
Further examination of these coral-bearing shells at various 
ages would be of interest ; for, as the age of the oysters 
can be approximately fixed, a very good idea could be 
obtained, by weighing and by observation of the size of the 
corals on oysters of different ages, as to the rate at 
which the corals grow. 1 Chemical analyses of the sea water 
over the Ceylon and Tuticorin pearl banks, especially with 
reference to the percentage of lime salts, should also be 
carried out. In connection with my observation that the 
Tuticorin shells were covered with algae while the Ceylon 
shells were encrusted by corals, a Ceylon correspondent 
wrote as follows :— " From the fishery of 1887 we took 
away specimens, very beautiful to look at, but several of 
which showed that the unfortunate animals inhabiting the 
shells had their residences converted into their tombs by the 
fatal industry of the coral animals. * But our specimens were 
not obtained from the Modaragam par, which was that we 
saw fished, and the shells taken from which are always 
covered with red-colored algae, and never with corals. We 
gathered our coral-covered specimens from the mounds of 
dried shells on the sea-shore, and learned that they had 
been taken in a previous fishery from another bank." 

The mid-day heat at Dutch Bay was very intense ; the 
sand became so hot that even horny-soled coolies could not 
walk on it ; and the blue-bottle flies, were an intolerable 
pest from early morn till sun down. The plague of flies at 
the Ceylon fisheries has occurred on former occasions, and 

1 The rate of growth of corals is fully discussed in Darwin's Structure 
and Distribution of Coral Reefs, 3rd ed., 1889. 



31 

Mr. Gr. Vane, who conducted the fisheries from 1855-60, 
rites as follows : — 

" Then come flies, innumerable, of. the largest kind ; 
indeed flies are constant plagues, but are worse with a 
southerly wind, everything being covered with a black 
mass ; a glass of wine or water must be drunk as poured 
out, or it is filled with flies, but southerly winds do not last 
long, and it seems as though providentially arranged that 
the prevailing winds should aid the purposes and needs of a 
pearl fishery." 

Early in the morning of the day following my arrival 
at Dutch Bay my suspicion over-night that all was not well 
was confirmed by the receipt of information that deaths 
from cholera had occurred in camp, and that there was a 
panic among the divers, who had struck work. It was 
promptly decided to abandon the fishery, and permission 
was given for the boats to leave. The divers ' quarters and 
sale kottus (the fences of which had begun to throw out 
leaves) were, as a matter of precaution, burned down, and 
by 4 p.m. most of the boats were out at sea, many making 
for the Madras coast and carrying thither the epidemic 
disease. 

The general arrangement of the Dutch Bay camp corre- 
sponded, in all essential particulars, with the arrangement 
of the Tuticorin camp. The latter is, in fact, based on what 
I may term the Ceylon type. 

The camp is described by a newspaper correspondent in 
the following words 2 : — " What was only the other day a 
sandy desert is now a populous and thriving town, with 
rows of buildings and well-planned streets. The two 
principal streets run parallel to each other. Each is about 
a mile long and 120 feet wide. These are again intersected 
by cross roads at intervals of 200 feet, an arrangement 
which permits of free ventilation, &c. Along the centre of 
each principal street there is a row of wells and lamps .... 
That portion of the town described above is situated at the 
south end of Dutch Bay, and is occupied by merchants, 
boutique-keepers, divers, et hoc genus omue. To the west 
of this, where the buildings are of a superior order and 
more apart from each other, we have the custom-house, 
court-house, police station with the Union Jack flying 
gaily in front of it, the Government Auditor's quarters, the 
doctor's buildings, the general hospital, out-door dispensary, 

2 Ceylon Observer, 2nd March, 1889. 



rest-houses, &c. On the spit of sand (a sand bank) are 
built the Government and private kottus and the sale bunga- 
low. Here, too, are the head- quarters of the police . . . 
By the side of this spit of land, and closely moored to it, 
are the Dib, the Antelope, and the Sultan Iskander 
which serve as quarters of the Government Auditor, 
Captain Donnan, and their subordinate officers. Far away 
from this site and at the very end of the spit can be 
described some of a dozen yellow flags, which are said to 
indicate the situation of the quarantine station and the 
hospitals for cholera and small-pox patients Some- 
where about the commencement of the spit stands a 
dilapidated Roman Catholic church, sea-eaten and falling 
into ruins. Father Dineaux, who is temporarily in charge, 
tells me that his church is in imminent danger of total 
disappearance owing to encroachments from the sea like 
the proverbial building that was built on the sands. The 
cemetery which belonged to this church" and formed part 
of its grounds has long since been claimed by the sea, and 
those who were once buried in terra firma now sleep beneath 
the wave." 

A small guard steamer was employed in cruising about 
the bay during the fishery, so as to prevent the divers, on 
their return from the bank, from dropping bags of oysters in 
the shallow water, which could afterwards be picked up. 
This form of fraud — and the frauds perpetrated by pearl 
divers are many —was scarcely possible at Tuticorin, where 
the boats arrived on shore opposite the kottu straight from 
the open sea. 

Good fresh water was obtained from shallow wells dug 
in the sandy shore, and there was an abundance of water, 
condensed by the ' Serendib/ in a large tank ; but the 
condensed water did not seem to be appreciated by the 
natives. 

I had, unfortunately, no opportunity of watching the 
process of counting the oysters in the kottu, or the manage- 
ment of an auction on a large scale ; but, so far as I could 
gather from the counting and sale of the oysters brought 
in by the few boats already referred to, the system was 
the same as that adopted at Tuticorin. 

Turning now to a comparison of the Tuticorin and 
Dutch Bay fisheries in 1889, the latter had the advantages 
of— 

i. a large fleet (193) of boats, and a correspondingly 
large staff of divers ; • 



33 



n. 



in, 



the presence of an efficient steam-tug throughout the 
fishery, by means of which both time and labour 
were saved ; 

the existence of the oysters in comparatively shallow 
water and near to land. 



11. 



in. 



The Tuticorin fishery laboured, on the other hand, under 
the disadvantages of — 

i. a very small fleet (44) of boats, and small staff of 
divers ; 

the absence of a tug for a long time after the com- 
mencement of the fishery ■ 

the existence of the oysters in deeper water, and 
at a great distance from the shore than at Dutch 
Bay. 

And there was, if the health of the camp is left out of the 
question, no compensatory advantage at Tuticorin. 

The following table shows the results of the Ceylon 
fishery from the date of its commencement up to March the 
27th :— 



Date. 


Number 
of 


Total 
number of 
• oysters 

fished. 


Sold for 
Govern- 


Average 
rate per 


Revenue . 




boats. 


ment. 


1,000. 












RS. 


RS. 


2nd March 


89 


542,527 


361,685 


28 


10,133-87 


4th 


170 


1,030,342 


686,895 


22 


14,340-80 


5th ,, 




1,183,455 


788,970 


28-79 


22,718-10 


6th 


191 


1,343,415 


895,610 


26-19 


23,461*47 


7th „ 


188 


1,611,616 


1,074,410 


20-00 


21,488-20 


8th 




1,357,365 


904,910 


20-05 


18,143-11 


9th 


190 


1,432,717 


955,145 


21-96 


20,983-19 


11th 


193 


1,623,750 


1,082,500 


20-17 


21,834-00 


12th 


191 


1,688,430 


1,125,620 


1501 


16,909-30 


13th 


190 


1,599,045 


1,066,030 


15-00 


15,990-45 


14th 


190 


1,803,240 


1,202,160 


16-44 


19,769-56 


15th 


187 


1,926,000 


1,284,000 


19-04 


24,453-00 


16th 


190 


2,209,688 


1,473,125 


21-63 


31,868-75 


18th 


191 


1,992,847 


1,328,565 


19-31 


25,656-30 


19th 


189 


2,439,802 


1,626,535 


15-95 


25,956'03 


20th 


188 


1,946,250 


1,297,500 


15-00 


19,462-50 


21st 


190 


2,238,998 


1,492,665 


1995 


29,781-63 


22nd 


189 


2,215,725 


1,477,150 


22-55 


33,320-15 


23rd 


187 


2,372,003 


1,581,335 


18-36 


29,035-70 


25th „ 


187 




1,325,875 


15 


19,888-13 


26th 






1,099,070 


17 


17,730-12 


27th 






1,052,045 


17 


18,918-86 



u 



The total quantity of the Government share of oysters, 
was, therefore, 25,H4,015, and the total sum realised as 
the result of 22 days' fishing Rs. 4,81,887-52. 

Comparing these results with those of the Tuticorin 
fishery, the following table shows the results obtained at the 
latter during the time of the Dutch Bay fishery, viz., from 
2nd March to 27th March : — 





















Num- 


Total 
number 

of 
oysters. 


Euro- 


Bom- 


Sold for 


Rate 




Date. 


ber of 


pean 
diver. 


bay 


Govern- 


per 


Revenue. 




boats. 


diver. 


ment. 


1,000. 
















ES. A. P. 


SS. A. P. 


2nd March ... 


3 


6,000 






4,000 


43 


172 


4th „ 
















5th „ 


38 


151J500 






loijooo 


25 "6 4 


2,565" 


6th „ 


38 


180,000 






120,000 


25 13 2 


3,099 


7th „ 


40 


180,000 






120,000 


24 14 3 


2,987 


8th „ 


41 


187,333 


"254 


*"80 


125,000 


26 1 5 


3,261 


9th „ 


42 


224,654 


130 


562 


150,000 


25 6 8 


3,813 


11th „ 


44 


204,907 


592 


594 


137,000 


22 10 3 


3,102 


12th „ 


42 


235,121 


643 


115 


157,000 


21 4 


3,301 


13th „ 


44 


235,917 


1,405 


760 


158,000 


21 3 2 


3,350 


14th „ 


37 


148,280 


439 




99,000 


21 8 5 


2,131 


15th „ 


35 


158,905 


190 




106,000 


20 10 8 


2,191 


16th „ 


44 


213,809 


2,000 


2,381 


144,000 


21 2 6 


3,067 


18th „ 
















19th „ 


24 


97^450 


"99 




65J000 


26 16 1 


1,731 


20th „ 


12 


82,500 






55,000 


26 13 4 


1,476 


21st „ 


43 


360,572 


"966 


"890 


241,000 


22 2 7 


5,341 


22nd „ 


44 


292,473 


1,452 


1,602 


196,000 


21 12 9 


4,274 


23rd „ 


35 


244,500 






163,000 


22 5 7 


3,643 


25th „ 
















26th „ 


a 


4^565 


3,070 


1,000 


4,400 


30 "5 


133" 6 5 


27th , 


44 


379,025 


950 




253,000 


24 10 2 


6,234 



The total quantity of the Government share of oysters, 
was, therefore, 2,398,400, and the total sum realized during 
the time under notice Rs. 65,871-6-5. 

A comparison of these two tables is very instructive, and' 
brings out very clearly the fact that, whereas in Ceylon the 
fishery was carried on without interruption (no fishery took 
place either in Ceylon or at Tuticorin on Sunday the 3rd, 
10th, 17th and 24th), and, after the first few days, during 
which time all the boats had not arrived, or were not ready 
for work, a large and uniform number of boats were at 
work daily and regularly bringing in good loads of oysters ; 
at Tuticorin, on the other hand, not only was there no 
fishery at all on three days (exclusive of Sundays), but on 
different occasions, out of the entire fleet of 44 boats, as 
few as 2, 3, and 12 boats were at work, with the result that, 
during 6 out of the 22 working days under review, only 
63,400 oysters, yielding Rs. 1,781-6-5, fell to the Govern- 
ment share, ^.e;,the total yield of six days was less than that 



35 

which was, with one exception, the 19th, obtained as the 
result of a single day's work. 

In view to the possibility of clashing of the fisheries in 
future years, a mutual agreement, relating to the division 
of the pearl fishery season between the Ceylon and Tuti- 
corin pearl banks, has been come to between the Madras 
and Ceylon Governments ; and the proposal of the Madras 
Government that the Ceylon fisheries should begin in 
February and close at the end of March, leaving April and 
May for the Tuticorin fisheries, met the wishes of the Gov- 
ernment of Ceylon. 

A steamer has recently (1893) been acquired by the 
Madras Government, which will be of infinite service on 
the occasion of future pearl fisheries, and for carrying out 
systematic annual and periodical inspections of the pearl 
banks. 



36 



III.— INSPECTION OF CEYLON PEARL BANKS. 



Having received permission from Sir Arthur Gordon, 
k.c.m.g., G-overnor of Ceylon, to accompany Captain Donnan, 
Inspector of the Ceylon pearl banks, on his annual inspec- 
tion cruise, I left Madras for Colombo by S.S. l Rewa ' on 
the 3rd October, 1889, taking with me some young plants 
of Victoria regia, reared in the nursery of the Madras Agri- 
Horticultural Society, for planting in the tank of the new 
Fort Gardens at Colombo, where they subsequently flowered. 

While in Colombo I took the opportunity of examining 
the excellently preserved specimen of Bhinodon typicus in 
the Ceylon Government Museum for the sake of comparison 
with the specimen (plate III- A), 22 feet in length from the 
end of the snout to the extremity of the tail, which was cast 
on shore at Madras in February, 1889, when I was unfortu- 
nately far away from head-quarters, so that the chance was 
missed of examining its stomach contents and internal 
anatomy. The telegram which reached me announcing the 
arrival of the monster ran as follows : — " Whale on shore. 
Stupendous spectacle." But, on the following day, I learnt, 
from the evidence of an expert, that the whale was a shark. 
A.S the following extract shows, but few specimens of this 
gigantic elasmobranch have been recorded -, 1 — 

" For many years the sole evidence of its existence 
rested upon a stray specimen, 15 feet in length, which was 
brought ashore in Table Bay during the month of April 
1828, and fortunately fell into the hands of the late Sir 
Andrew Smith, then resident in Capetown, who named, 
described, and figured it. The specimen itself was pre- 
served by a French taxidermist, who sold it to the Paris 
Museum, where it still remains in a much deteriorated con- 
dition. Forty years later — in 1868 — Dr. Percival Wright, 
whilst staying at Mahe with Mr. Swinburne Ward, then 
Civil Commissioner of the Seychelles, met with this shark, 

1 In his Account of the Pearl Fisheries, of Ceylon, Captain Steuart 
records having seen on one occasion " a spotted shark of almost fearful 
size ; it was accompanied by several common sized sharks, and they 
appeared like pilot fish by its side." 




m:t s 



D 

g 

Q. 
> 
h 

Z 

Q 


z 

I 



37 

and obtained the first authentic information about it. It 
does not seem to be rare in this Archipelago, but is very 
seldom obtained on account of its large size and the diffi- 
culties attending its capture. Dr. Wright saw specimens 
which exceeded 50 feet in length, and one that was actually 
measured by Mr. Ward proved to be more than 45 feet 
long. Nothing more was heard of the creature until Jan- 
uary, 1878, in which year the capture of another specimen 
was reported from the Peruvian coast near Callao. Finally, 
in the present century, Mr. Haly, the accomplished Director 
of the Colombo Museum, discovered it on the west coast 
of Ceylon, and succeeded in obtaining two or three speci- 
mens. 2 One of these was presented by that institution to 
the Trustees of the British Museum, and, having been 
mounted by Mr. Gerrard, it is now exhibited in the fish 
gallery, where it forms one of the most striking objects, 
although it must be considered a young example, measuring 
only 17 feet from the end of the snout to the extremity of 
the tail. 

" A true shark in every respect, Bhinodon is dis- 
tinguished from the other members of the tribe by the 
peculiar shape of the head, which is of large size and great 
breadth, the mouth being quite in front of the snout, and 
not at the lower side, as in other sharks. Each jaw is armed 
with a band of teeth arranged in regular transverse rows, 
and so minute that, in the present specimen (Ceylon), their 
number has been calculated to be about 6,000. The gill 
openings are very wide ; and three raised folds of the skin 
run along each side of the body. Also in its variegated 
coloration this fish differs from the majority of sharks, being 
prettily ornamented all over with spots and stripes of a buff 
tint/' 

The following measurements of the Madras specimen 
were made by my friend Dr. A. GK Bourne when the fish 
was lying on the beach : — 

INCHES. 

Total length 22 feet or 264 ^ 

Root of 1st dorsal (fin) to upper jaw ... 118 
Anterior edge of 1st dorsal ... 22 

Base of 1st dorsal ... ... ... 24 

Distance between 1st and 2nd dorsal ,.. 27 

Anterior edge of 2nd dorsal ... ... 11| 



2 In April, 1890, a further specimen of Bhinodon, 14 feet 6 inches in 
length was caught off Bambalapitiya (Ceylon) . 



38 



INCHES. 



Base of 2nd dorsal 


... 


io| 


Length of upper caudal lobe 




60 


„ of lower do. 


• • • ... 


30 


Anterior edge of pectoral fin 


... • • . 


38 


First branchia to anterior edge 


of pectoral 




fin 


... 


15 


Breadth of pectoral fin at base 


... 


20 


Length of 1st gill opening 


... ... 


23 


„ of 2nd do. 


... • • • 


23i 


„ of 3rd do. 


. . . ... 


21 


„ of 4th do. 


... 


20 


,, of 5th do. 


... 


17 


Eye diameter 


... ... 


li 


Spiracle 


... | inch 


byl 


Mouth 


... ... 


30 


Teeth, lower jaw ... 


• ■ • ... 


(14 rows) 


Top of snout to 1st branchia 


... ... 


40 


Tip of snout to eye 


... 


10 


Eye to spiracle 


... 


4 



After waiting for several days on the chance of a 
moderation of the prevailing south-west, wind, I left Colombo 
with Captain Donnan on the barque e Sultan Iskander/ 
which towed after her the diving boats, each with its crew 
composed of coxswain, rowers, divers, and munducks (who 
attend to the divers, letting them down by ropes, pulling 
them up, &c). The crew made the schooner almost un- 
bearable by cooking for their evening meal putrid fish, 
which in smell rivalled the well-known gnape of Burma. 
As an inspection of a reported pearl bank off Negombo 
was out of the question owing to the heavy swell, we sailed 
straight on to Dutch Bay, where we anchored, after a 
somewhat boisterous passage, on the following morning, 
inside the long and rapidly extending spit of sand, which 
forms the western boundary of the bay, on which the sale 
bungalow, kottus, &c, were standing during my last visit 
in March at the time of the collapse of the pearl fishery 
from cholera. The Bay now presented a very deserted 
appearance. The sandy shore was crowded with hosts of 
wading birds, and the sole human occupants were a few fisher- 
men and a number of natives, from near and distant parts of 
the island, engaged in searching for stray pearls in the sand 
formerly occupied by the washing kottus, the site of which 
was indicated by the remains of the fences and heaped up 



39 

piles of oyster shells, and gaining as the reward of their 
labour from one to two rupees a day. It was reported that 
one woman had found five pearls, each of the size of an 
ordinary pepper pod, for which she had been offered and 
refused 150 rupees. The seaward face of the sand-spit was 
strewed with coral fragments rolled in by the waves from 
the reef , which intervenes between the shore and the pearl 
bank, and is partially laid bare at low tide ; and the sand 
was riddled with the burrows of a very large ocypod (0. 
platytarsis) , the carapace of a male of which species cap- 
tured by me after an exciting chase measured 56 mm. in 
length and 66 mm. in breadth. If one of these crabs is 
killed and left on the shore, its cannibal fellow creatures 
carry it away into a burrow, and, doubtless, devour it. 

On the day after our arrival at Dutch Bay we sailed 
in one of the diving boats to Karaitivu and Ipantivu islands 
and the mainland in search of a possible spot adapted for 
the requirements of a pearl camp at the next fishery. In 
the shallow water near the shore of Karaitivu island fishes 
— Mugil and Hemiramphus — some of which leaped into the 
boat and were eventually cooked, fell easy victims to fish- 
ing eagles and gulls. Two hauls of the dredge, in the 
sand and mud brought up Amphioxus, Lituaria phalloides, 
the Trepang Holothuria marmorata, Astropecten hemprichii, 
Philyra scabriuscula, Chloeia flava, and many molluscs ; a 
large number of the species of mollusc, both here and in 
Dutch Bay, being commou to the Indian and Ceylon 
Coasts of the Gulf of Manaar. On the mainland forming 
the eastern boundary of Dutch Bay, into which the river 
Kala Oya discharges its water by several mouths, dense 
jungle and swampy ground teeming with .the mollusc 
Pyrazus palustris reach right down to the water's edge ; and, 
as we walked along the shore, we came across solid evi- 
dence of the recent presence of elephants. We were told 
by a native that bears and wild pigs are so thick in the 
jungle that one trips over them as one walks along ! 

In 1868 large numbers of young pearl-oysters are re- 
ported to have been spread over a considerable extent of the 
muddy bottom of Dutch Bay in from one to two fathoms 
of water, but the situation was, evidently, not favourable for 
their healthy growth. 

The weather being unfavourable for the work of inspect- 
ing, we had to remain unwilling prisoners in Dutch Bay, 
the days being spent in cruising about, and dredging in the 
shallow water. But on the 29th, as the wind had changed 



40 

and the sea abated, we made a start for the neighbouring 
pearl bank — Muttuwartu par — to which we were towed by 
the ' Active. ' As soon as we had anchored on the south 
end of the bank, a diver was sent down from the ship's side 
in 6§ fathoms, and brought up his rope basket containing 
plenty of healthy, living oysters, which, he reported, came 
away easily from the rock to which they were attached 
by their byssi. 3 At the fishery in March the divers com- 
plained of the difficulty in detaching the oysters ; and the 
degree of ease with which they can be gathered is con- 
sidered a sign of their ripeness for fishing, the byssus being 
said to begin after the fifth year to break away from the sub- 
stance to which it adheres tightly during the early life 
of the oysters. 

The excellent plan which is employed in the inspection 
of the Ceylon banks, and by which a thorough knowle'dge 
of the condition of the banks as regards the oyster supply 
is obtained, is the same in principle as that adopted by 
searchers for lapwing's eggs in England. The inspection 
barque is anchored in a position fixed on the chart by 
bearings from the shore. The steam tug, towing a boat 
with buoys bearing flags on board, first lays out buoys in the 
north, south, east, and west at distances of J, J, and f of a 
mile from the barque. Buoys are then laid out at a distance 
of | of a mile from the barque in the north-east, north- 
west, south-east, and south-west. Four diving boats, each 
with a coxswain in charge, five rowers, three divers, and two 
munducks, are arranged in line between the north J mile 
buoy and the barque, the distance being equally divided 
between the boats. The rowers work round in a circle, and 
the divers make frequent dives in search of oysters until 
the starting point is reached. The boats are then again 
arranged in position, and the circle between the 5- and \ mile 
buoys is explored. Lastly, the third circle, between the \ 
and I mile buoys, is, in like manner, explored ; so that, when 
this circle is completed, each boat has described three circles 
with the inspection barque as a centre. And, in this way, 
twelve circles in all are described by the four boats. The 
oysters are then brought to the ship, counted, and put in 
sacks daily, until a sufficient number (15,000) to form a 
sample for washing and valuation by experts has been col- 



3 " The term rook is applied to pieces of coral, living or dead, averaging 
about a foot in diameter, which, are scattered more or less thickly over 
certain parts of the banks. 



w 



DIAGRAM. A 




Zinco., Survey, Office, Madras 

1894- 



w 



<p 




Zinco.. Survey, Office, Madras. 

1894 



41 

lected. 4 The coxswain of each boat records on a diagram, 
provided by the Inspector, the approximate position of each 
dive which is made, the nature of the bottom (a triangle == 
rock, a circle = sand, and a cross == oysters), and the number 
of oysters lifted. Diagram A represents the day's work 
done by a single boat over ground which, with the excep- 
tion of a sandy patch between the north and east | mile 
buoys, was rocky, and on which oysters were plentiful ex- 
cept over a portion of the outer circle. Diagram B, made 
up from the four coxswains' reports, represents a single 
day's work done by all the boats, and shows the distribution 
of the oysters over the area inspected, and the limits of 
the bank. As soon as the buoys have been taken up by the 
tug, the inspection barque is moved to a new position 1J mile 
distant from its former one, and the buoys are again laid out 
in circles; to act as guides to the boats in the next day's work. 
Without the assistance of the buoys the boats would not 
be able to describe separate circles, but would work in an 
irregular manner, and two or more boats would, very pro- 
bably, go over the same ground. But, with the assistance of 
the buoys, the whole bank can be systematically surveyed. 
The Muttuwartu par, which was fished in the spring of 
1889, is situated about five miles from the seaward shore 
of Dutch Bay, and covers an approximate area of 3 X 1J 
miles, the depth of water over the bank ranging from 5 
to 10 fathoms with an average of about 7 fathoms. The 
temperature of the water at the bottom, registered with a 
Negretti and Zambra's deep-sea thermometer, varied from 
80° to 82° between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Between the bank and 
the shore is a coral reef, the presence of which was indicated 
by the waves breaking over its outer face amid a prevailing 
calm, and by gulls resting on the coral blocks. The most 
conspicuous madreporaria on this reef, which is surrounded 
by 4{ to 5 fathoms of water, belong to the geDera Madre- 
pora and Pocillo-pora , while Galaxea and Leptoria are pre- 
sent in less abundance. The bright white patches of sand, 
which cover large spaces between the coral growths, teem 
with protozoa and a calcareous alga, and are more rich in 
delicate molluscs than any other deposit which I have 
examined in the Gulf of Manaar. Sheltered among the 
coral tufts were sluggish holothurians and hosts of small 
crustaceans ; and, clinging to the branches of a madrepore, 

* If a young bank is being inspected, samples are brought up by the 
divers, but they are not washed for valuation, 

6 



42 

I found a single specimen of the quaint crustacean, Thenus 
orientalis. 

Outside the seaward face of the pearl banks on the 
Indian coast of the G-ulf of Manaar the depth of the sea in- 
creases very gradually, so that, for example, outside the 
Tholayiram par, a depth of only 15 to 20 fathoms is reached 
at a distance of 3 miles. Outside the Muttuwartu par, how- 
ever, the area of shallow water ceases very abruptly, and the 
depth increases rapidly to 150 fathoms at a distance of three- 
quarters of a mile from the seaward face of the bank, 
where the following temperatures were recorded (in the 
month of November,) : — 

Surface . . 83° 

10 fathoms .. 81° 

20 „ . . 80° 

30 „ .. 72° 

On the 19th March, 1890, the temperatures recorded by 
Captain Donnan 4 miles west of the Muttuwartu par 
were : — 



60 fathoms . . 68° 
100 „ .. 61° 

150 „ .. 55° 



Surface . . 85° 

30 fathoms . . 81° 
60 „ .. 68° 



100 fathoms .. 59° 
150 ,, .. 54° 

200 ,, .. 52° 



Several hauls of the dredge brought up Polytrema 
cylindricum, Gorgonice, Heteropsammia cochlea, Girrhipathes 
spiralis, Spongodes sp., Fibularia ovulum, &c, but no pearl 
oysters. 

The divers received instructions to keep apart for me 
everything, other than oysters, which they came across 
during their day's work, under the general heading of corals, 
shells, poockees, and weeds; and, by examination of the 
specimens which they reserved and going rapidly over the 
oysters, I was enabled not only to make a rich collection, but 
also to ascertain roughly in what respects the fauna of this 
portion of the west coast of Ceylon differs from that of the 
Indian coast of the Gulf of Manaar. The first day's in- 
spection of the Muttuwartu par showed not only that the 
oysters were very abundant, in spite of the disturbance to 
which they were subjected during the fishery in the spring, 
4,580 living specimens being brought up in 291 dives ; but, 
further, that the coral-incrusted shells, to which I have 
already referred (p. 30), as being a distinguishing character- 
istic of this bank as compared with the Tholayiram par, 
are very abundant, the living corals growing on the shells 
of living oysters, which, did they migrate, would have, 
sometimes, to carry about with them a weight of nearly 



45 

eight ounces. The coral -incrusted shells had, prior to the 
fishery of the Muttuwartu par this year, only been seen by 
Captain Donnan on the north-west Cheval par ; and, when 
the oysters disappeared, from the latter in 1888, the drift- 
oysters, which were eventually found, were recognised by 
the coral-growths upon them. Arborescent sea-weeds, 
forming tangled masses, such as abound on the Tholayiram 
par, were conspicuously absent ; but the oyster shells were 
largely encrusted with sponges, and the orange-coloured 
sponge, Axinella donhani, which receives its specific name 
after the present Inspector of Pearl Banks, was very com- 
mon. In addition to the shell-incrusting corals, massive 
corals, mainly belonging to the genus Madrepora, flourish 
on the bank, forming a convenient habitat and hiding 
place for chsetopods, crustaceans, molluscs, &c, which can 
live tbere safe from the attacks of predaceous enemies. 
As far as I could gather from repeated examination, on 
different parts of the bank, of the residue left after shaking 
up the oysters in a bucket of water, and of the contents of 
the digestive tract of a holothurian (U. atra) which 
abounds on the bank, the sea-bottom is mainly composed 
of a white deposit, such as I have only seen on the Indian 
coast of the Gulf of Manaar, which consists of a calcareous 
alga and of foraminifera, among which Rotalia calcar, 
Heterostegina depressa, and Amphistegina lessonii are the 
most conspicuous. It was long ago pointed out by Captain 
Steuart that the places, on which pearl fisheries have been 
successfully held in Ceylon, appear to be beds of madrepore 
of irregular heights, having the spaces between the ridges 
nearly filled up with sand. The transparent clearness of 
the water over the banks and the clean state of the sea 
bottom, which is free from sediment carried down by cur- 
rents, must, I think, be regarded as important conditions 
favouring the healthy growth of the oysters thereon. 

Swimming about on the surface of the water over the 
bank were many black and yellow striped sea-snakes, which 
are believed by the divers to feed on the oysters. Indeed, 
in 1862, the European diver reported that he had seen the 
snakes eating the oysters, darting into the shells when opened. 
But this report must be viewed with grave suspicion. Apart 
from snakes, the reputed enemies of the pearl oyster on the 
Ceylon banks are molluscs, fishes, and currents. Among 
molluscs are mentioned the chank {Turbinella rapa) and a 
big Murex {IK. anguliferus), known as the elephant chank. 
But, as Mr. Holdsworth observes, " they may be looked oil 



44 

as part of the vermin of the banks, but I have no reason to 
think they cause more destruction on the oyster beds than 
the hawk and the polecat do anions the game of an ordinary 
preserve." It is noticeable that the little Modiola known 
as suran, which assumes such a prominent position in the 
reports of the Inspector of Pearl Banks at Tufcicorin, does 
not, though present, occur, so far as I am aware, in any 
great quantities on the Ceylon banks. Among fishes the 
trigger fishes (Balistes), commonly known as " old wives/' 
are abundant on rocky parts of the banks, and I saw many 
specimens caught by the boatmen fishing from the side of 
the ship as we lay at anchor. Concerning these fishes 
Captain Steuart reports that " the sea over the pearl banks 
is well stocked with various fishes, some of which feed on 
the oysters, and, when caught by the seamen on board the 
guard vessel, pearls and crushed shells are often found in 
their stomachs, particularly in the fish called by the Mala- 
bars, the clartee ; by the Singhalese, the pottooberre ; and 
by seamen, the old women. This fish is of an oval-shape, 
about 12 inches in length and 6 inches in depth from the 
top of the back to the under part of the belly, and is 
covered with a thick skin. We saw ten pearls taken from 
the stomach of one of these fish on board the Wellington."" 
The contents of the stomach and intestines of Balistes, 
which I examined while we were inspecting the Cheval par, 
consisted entirely of young oysters crushed by their sharp 
cutting teeth. In addition to the trigger fishes, rays are 
said to be always more or less numerous on the banks, and 
Mr. Holds worth states that " when the fishery of 1863 
commenced on the south-east part of the Cheval par, the 
divers reported the ground so covered with skate as to 
interfere with their picking up the oysters. After a day 
or two the continual disturbance by the divers had the effect 
of driving the skates away from that part of the bank, and 
these fish, many of them of very large size, were seen going 
in the direction of the Modrigam, which was then covered 
with oysters, whose age was estimated by the Superin- 
tendent at 2j — 3 years, by the Inspector at 3 J — 4, and 
by the native headman at 4 years. The skates were in 
shoals, and their total number was estimated at from 10 to 
15 thousand. Further, in his report on the inspection of 
banks in March 1885, Captain Donnan notes the fact that 
" on the way from the north Motaragam, and just about the 
south side of the bed of oysters, we passed through a large 
patch of thick discoloured water, caused by a shoal of rays 



45 

plundering about on the bottom , and stirring up the sand. 
Some of them could, at times, be seen near the surface, and 
I have no doubt they were feeding on the oysters/'' Some 
years ago the Sea Customs Officer at Dutch Bay counted as 
many as 300 rays in a single haul of a fishing net. The 
native belief, is that the rays break up the oyster shell with 
their teeth, and suck out the soft animal matter. The 
stomach contents of a big- ray (JEtobatis narinari), 5 feet 
in breadth and with a tail 8 J feet in length, which was 
caught by fishermen from a canoe off Silavaturai when we 
were at anchor there, consisted of sea-weed. The same 
fishermen caught for me off the Silavaturai reef a male 
Dugong, 9 feet in length, whose stomach contents consisted 
of sea-weed and large numbers of a nematode^worm (Ascaris 
halicoi-es, Owen). 

It was roughly estimated as the result of the inspection 
of the Muttuwartu par, which lasted over three days, an 
average of 16 oysters to a dive being allowed, that it con- 
tained 30 million oysters spread over an area of 9^ million 
square yards, which should produce a revenue of 5 lakhs of 
rupees. 

On November, 2nd we left the Muttuwartu par, and 
anchored in 8 fathoms, about 2 miles further north, so as 
to hunt for a possible bed of oysters. The divers, making 
the usual preliminary dives, brought up blocks of dead coral- 
rock with living Turbinarioe and Porites growing on them, 
and containing, imbedded in the crevices, a large number 
of foraminifera. The sample of 15,000 oysters from the 
Muttuwartu par, which were beginning to be unpleasant 
fellow-passengers, was sent up to Silavaturai to be washed. 
It is stated by Captain Steuart that the offensive effluvium 
of decomposing oysters " is not considered to have an un- 
healthy tendency on the persons engaged in the kottus, and 
it is astonishing how soon the most sensitive .nose becomes 
accustomed to the smell. Indeed some Europeans have 
fancied their appetites sharpened by visiting the kottus, 
and being surrounded by immense heaps consisting of mil- 
lions of oysters in all stages of decomposition ." 

The surface of the water, always rich in organisms, was 
exceptionally so on the following morning, the tow-net s 
dropped from the stern of the barque and kept distended 
by the gentle current which was running, becoming speed- 
ily filled with a gelatinous mass composed mainly of 
Sagittce mingled with a host of ctenophora, glassy ptero- 
pods, and hungry fishes preying on crustacean and other 



46 

larvse. Only a few young oysters being found, we again 
proceeded northward, and anchored in 8^ fathoms, the pre- 
liminary dives bringing up madrepores with Antedons en- 
twined round their branches, and large melobesian nodules. 
Again only a few scattered oysters were obtained as the 
result of a day's work, but the divers brought me many 
specimens of alcyonians, and the bright-red sponge Axi- 
nellcu tubulata, living attached "by a broad base to dead 
coral-rock, and associated with its commensal worm. 5 The 
following temperature observations were made half a mile 
west of the ship, where no bottom was reached with the 
sounding line at 140 fathoms : — 



Surface 


... 81-5° 


50 fathoms 


.. 75° 


20 fathoms 


.. 76-5° 


100 


. . 62-5° 


30 „ 


.. 76° 


140 


.. 55° 



On the afternoon of the 4th, we moved on, still north- 
ward, to the Karaitivu par, 6 which was estimated, at the 
inspection in November, 1887, to contain 1,605,465 oysters. 
The divers, going down from the ship, alighted on a bank 
of Fungice, and brought up some living 5-year old oysters 
and melobesian nodules. Attached to one of the nodules 
was an extensive creeping colony of the delicate crimson - 
coloured organism named Tnbipora reptans from the single 
small specimen which has hitherto been recorded by Mr. H.J. 
Carter. 7 The present specimens were in a more advanced 
stage of growth than the one described by Mr. Carter, 
which I examined in the Liverpool Museum, and the 
calycles were proportionately higher. By about four hours' 
work next morning a sample of 8,000 oysters was collected 
for valuation, and the abundance of oysters may be judged 
from the fact that, on more than one occasion, as many as 
100 oysters were brought up at a single dive. My own 
share of the morning's work consisted of a Fungia (F. 
repanda) and' three living specimens of the mother-of-pearl 
oyster, Avicula (Meleagrina) margaritifera, attached by its 
byssus to coral-rock. Captain Donnan informed me that 
he had only seen about a dozen specimens of this mollusc 
during his 28 years' experience as Inspector of the banks, 

5 Vide Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Feb. 1889, p. 89. 

6 The Karaitivu par was fished in December 1889 ; but the fishery came 
to an abrupt termination owing to a diver being killed by a shark. Appa- 
rently three men went down into the water, and two came up almost di- 
rectly, saying that the third had been carried off by a shark. The rest 
of the divers could not be prevailed on to resume work, and left the bank. 

7 Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist, June 1880, p. 442. 



47 

so that it cannot be present in any abundance. Shell- 
incrusting corals, though present on the bank, were far less 
common than on the Muttuwartu par- 

On the afternoon of the 5th we sailed about 20 miles 
north, and anchored in 2 fathoms, 3 miles south of the 
village off Aripu, off Silavaturai, which is made the head- 
quarters at times when the Cheval and Motaragam (Mud- 
rigam) banks are fished. Rising from the sandy shore 
between Aripu and Silavaturai is a miniature sand-cliff, 
reaching a maximum height of about 12 feet, and extending 
over a distance of about half a mile, which contains a thick 
bed composed almost entirely of pearl-oyster shells — evi- 
dence of the enormous number of oysters which have been 
taken from the neighbouring banks at fisheries in the past. 
Similar beds of oyster shells were exposed in sections nearly 
a mile inland. The Cheval and Motaragam banks are situ- 
ated from 9 to 12 miles out at sea in water varying in 
depth from 6 to 10 fathoms. Between the shore and the 
banks the water gradually reaches a depth of 6 fathoms ; 
Tjut, as in the case of the Muttuwartu and Karaitivu pars, 
the depth increases rapidly to 150 fathoms outside the 
banks. The sea bottom between the shore and the banks 
is made up mainly of sand with many worn shells, a luxu- 
riant growth of sea- weeds, and scattered coral patches. 
Among mollusca Modiola tulipa, and the chank (Twrbinella 
rapa) were very abundant. No fishing for chanks is per- 
mitted south of the Island of Manaar, lest, at the same 
time, raids should be made on the pearl banks. 8 The fishery 
is, however, actively carried on north of the island on a 
different system to that which is in force at Tuticorin (p. 
56), the boat-owners paying a small sum of money annually 
to Government, and making what profit they can from the 
sale of the shells. 

Writing of the banks off Aripu, which have been, for 
many years, the sheet-anchor of the Ceylon fishery, Captain 
Steuart observes that " the number of successful fisheries 
obtained on the banks lying off the Aripu coast, more than 
on any other banks in the Gulf of Manaar, and the high 
estimation in which the pearls from these fisheries are 
deservedly held, would seem to indicate some peculiar 
quality in the bottom of the sea in these parts, which is 
favourable to the existence of pearl-oysters, and for bringing 

8 See Ordinance relating to ChanJts, pp. 58 to 62. 



48 

them to the greatest perfection. We know there is some- 
thing in the nature of the bottom of certain parts of the sea, 
which is favourable to the subsistence and growth of parti- 
cular fishes, and which improves the flavour for the food of 
mankind : for instance, the sole and the plaice caught in 
Hythe bay on the Kentish coast are esteemed better than 
those caught off Rye on the western side of Dungeness ; and 
we also know that cod, turbot, oysters, and, indeed, most 
edible fishes are prized in proportion to the estimation in 
which the banks are held, from whence they have been 
taken." The productiveness of the banks off Aripu (CheVal 
and Motaragam) was attributed by Mr. Vane, who was 
formerly Superintendent of the pearl fisheries, to their posi- 
tion affording a degree of protection from the influences 
of the weather and currents — conditions which would be 
favourable for permitting the young oysters to settle on the 
sea-bottom instead of being carried away. 

In 1885 Captain Donnan attempted to cultivate the 
pearl-oyster on a coral reef, three miles from the shore, 
which was considered to be sufficiently far removed from 
the baneful influence of the Aripu river during the freshes. 
A tank for the reception of the oysters was dug in the 
centre of the reef, and surrounded by blocks of coral to 
form a barrier round its edge, heaped up high enough to be 
just awash at the highest tide. But the experiment failed, 
as, out of 12,000 oysters which were placed in the tank, 
only 27 remained alive at the end of seven months. " Some 
of the oysters," Captain Donnan writes, " may have been 
washed out of the tank by the south-west monsoon sea, as it 
was not completely sheltered from the wash of the waves, 
but the bulk of them have, I believe, died off and been 
destroyed by some fish preying upon them. About 100 
dead shells were found in the bottom of the tank, many of 
which bore evidence of having been bored and nibbled 
away. It is just possible that some fish may have got into 
the tank, and preyed upon the oysters, either by getting 
over the coral barrier around it, which would be slightly 
under water at high- water, or through the interstices of the 
coral underneath. The experiment so far has been a failure, 
and may be attributable to four causes : — 

" (1) overcrowding the oysters in the tank ; 

" (2) deficiency of nourishment in water so near the 
surface ; 

" (3) destruction by fish, which had got into the tank 
and preyed upon them ; 



49 

" (4) by excessive agitation of the water in the tank 
during the south-west monsoon sea ; or, pro- 
bably,, to all these causes combined/' 

In March, 1886, another experimental tank was made on 
a more sheltered part of the reef, and 5,000 oysters were 
placed in it. But, in the following year, all the oysters 
were found to be dead. The artificial cultivation of the 
pearl-oyster was attempted some years ago in a nursery 
made in the shallow muddy water of the Tuticorin harbour 
without success ; and, in his final report to the Ceylon 
Government, Mr. Holdsworth expresses his opinion, with 
which I thoroughly concur, that there is no ground for think- 
ing that artificial cultivation of the pearl-oyster can be 
profitably carried out on the Ceylon coast, as the conditions 
necessary for the healthy growth of the oysters are not to 
be found in the very few places, where they could be at all 
protected or watched. 

On the way to Captain Donnan's tank, which we visited, 
we rowed over extensive banks of alcyonians, of the luxu- 
riant growth and size of which only a very feeble idea is 
obtained from dried or spirit specimens as seen in mu- 
seums. On the sandy bottom a large number of echino- 
derms, solitary or clustered together, were clearly visible ; 
and. with the assistance of the divers and the dredge, the 
following species were procured : — Temnopleurus toreumati- 
cus, a violet-spined Temnopleuroid, Pentaceros thurstoni, 
Salmacis bicolor, Laganum depressum, Fibularia volva, 
Echinolampas oviformis, Holothuria atra } and Golochirus 
quadr angular is . These species, as also Oreaster linchi and 
Linckia laevigata, which. abound on the Muttuwartu par, 
are all found on the opposite coast of the Grulf of Manaar. 
A single young specimen of Hippocampus was also brought 
up in the dredge. The tank, washed by the gentle 
swell, showed no signs of pearl-oysters, which had, doubt- 
less been smothered and disappeared below the surface 
of the bottom. But, growing from the inner side of the 
barrier of dead coral which formed the wall of the tank 
was a fringe of living corals — Montijpora, Pocillopora, Mad- 
repora, &c. As these corals had grown in their present 
position since the construction of the tank, which was built 
up entirely of dead blocks of solid coral brought from the 
shore, the living corals on the reef being found to be too 
brittle to form a suitable wall, it was obvious that, as the 
tank was built in March 1886, the age of the corals did 
not exceed three years and nine months. Accordingly I 

7 



50 

had the largest specimen of Montipora carefully detached 
from the dead coral-rock on which it was growing, and 
found that it measured 40 inches in length, 9 inches in 
height, and 16 inches in breadth, and weighed 17 pounds. 

After remaining at anchor for some days off Silavaturai, 
we started on the morning of the 10th for the western side 
of the great Cheval par, which is known by the divers as 
hodai (umbrella) par from the prevalence on it of a shallow 
cup-shaped sponge, Spongionella holdswortJii , which is sup- 
posed, by their imaginative brains, to resemble an umbrella. 
In a letter to Mr. Bowerbank, by whom this sponge was 
described, 9 Mr. Holdsworth stated that " is only found on 
the 9 -fathom line of the large pearl bank. It is attached to 
pieces of dead coral or stones. When alive it is of a dark 
brown ; and when taken out of water it looks exactly like 
dirty wet leather. . . . This sponge is so strictly confined 
to the locality above mentioned that its discovery by the 
divers is considered the strongest evidence that the outer 
part of the bank has been reached. " Another conspicuous 
sponge on this bank was the large, pale pink-coloured 
Petrosia testiidinariou, which also lives on the Tholayiram 
par off Tuticorin. 

It was from the Cheval par that, in 1888, about 150 
millions of oysters, ripe for fishing, disappeared in the space 
of two months, between November and February. This 
disappearance en masse was attributed by the natives to a 
vast shoal of rays, called sankoody iyrica or koopu tyrica, 
which are said to eat up oyster shells. But the more prac- 
tical mind of the Inspector of the pearl banks attributed the 
disaster — for such it was from a financial point of view — to 
the influence of a strong southerly current, which was run- 
ning for some days in December ; a current so strong that 
the Engineer of the f Active ' had to let go a second anchor 
to prevent the ship from dragging. 

The divers, going down from the ship as soon as we 
were at anchor over the bank in 6£ fathoms, reported abund- 
ance of young oysters, whose average breadth at the hinge 
was *75 inch, said by some to be three months, by others six 
months' old. The samples which they brought up from the 
bottom, which was rocky and interspersed with patches of 
fine sand, were attached to dead coral, melobesiee, sponges, 
and any other rough surface suitable for the attachment of 
the byssus. That the pearl-oyster prefers a rough to a 

9 Proc. Zool. Soc., 1873, p. 25, pi, v. 



51 

smooth surface as an anchorage is shown not only by its 
usual habitat,, but also by the observation that young oys- 
ters have been found clinging to the coir rope moorings of 
a bamboo, but not to the bamboo itself or the chain moor- 
ings. The number of young oysters on a small nodule 
brought up by the divers was counted, and found to be 
180, scattered among which were 20 specimens of the little 
suran. 

The prevailing stony corals on the west Cheval par, 
brought up by the divers with dense clusters of young 
oysters adhering to them, belonged to the genera Porites, 
Astrcea, and Cyphastnm, growing from a base of conglome- 
rated sand-rock, which is known by the divers as ( flat 
rock/ These corals, when broken up, proved a rich hunting 
ground for small crustaceans, tubicolous worms, and litho- 
domous mollusca. Very abundant on the bank were the 
bright-red Juncella juncea and the cork-like Suberogorgia 
suberosa, on the axes and branches of which clusters of young 
oysters were collected. 

At the time of his annual inspection of the west Cheval par 
in 1888, Captain Donnan found a large portion of it stocked 
with oysters one year old, which had, in the interval between 
the inspections, died from natural causes, or been killed off, 
and replaced by another brood. The life of the pearl-oyster 
must be a struggle, not only during the time at which it 
leads a wandering existence on the surface, 10 and is at the 
mercy of pelagic organisms, but even after it has settled 
down on the bottom, where it is liable to be eaten up by 
fishes, holothurians, molluscs, &c, or washed away from its 
moorings by currents ; and comparatively few out of a large 
fall of " spat " on a bank can reach maturity even under 
the most favourable conditions. " Much," Captain Steuart 
writes, " appears to depend on the depth of water over the 
ground, and the nature and quality of the soil upon which 
brood oysters settle, whether any portion of them eventually 
reaches the age of maturity. If the deposit be of small 
extent, or be thinly scattered, the young oysters are often 
devoured by fishes, before the shells are hard enough to 
protect them. But when the deposits settle in dense heaps 
upon places favourable for their nourishment and growth, 
many of them survive to become the source of considerable 
revenue." How great is the struggle of the pearl-oyster for 

10 Young pearl-oysters have been found attached to floating timber 
and buoys, and to the bottoms of boats. 



52 

existence is very clearly shown by the records of the Tuti- 
corin inspections, in which, time after time, a bank is noted 
in one year as being thickly covered with young oysters, 
and in the next year as being blank. Not, in fact, till a 
bank is thickly covered with oysters two years old can any 
hope be held out that it will eventually yield a fishery. 

Outside the west Cheval par a sand flat extends for 
some distance north and south, from which the dredge 
brought up masses of coarse, broken shells, and, among 
other specimens, large numbers of Amphioxus and Clypeaster 
humilis, and single specimens of Ophiothrix aspidota and 
Astropecten hemprichii ; the digestive cavity of the latter 
being distended by a large Meretrix (M. cast'anea) and seven 
other smaller molluscs, which it had swallowed. From the 
stretch of sand between the east and west Cheval pars the 
echinoids Echinodiscus auritns and Metalia stemalis were 
obtained. 

During our stay on the west Cheval par, large numbers 
of the butterfly Papilio (Menelaides) hector were seen daily 
fluttering around the ship 10 miles out at sea. The ' Active ' 
steaming at the rate of 4 knots an hour, and the diving 
boats under sail caught many seir fish (Cybium guttatum) 
with a long line towing astern and made fast to the yard 
arm of the lug sail, and baited with a piece of white rag. 
For catching seir the hooks are sometimes baited with a 
small fish or the white of a cocoanut cut into the shape of a 
fish. From the barque at anchor many Batistes and the 
crimson-coloured Lutjanus erythropterus were caught by the 
crew with lines baited with fish. The stomachs of the 
former always contained crushed pearl-oysters, and those of 
the latter small fishes.. 

On the 14th we inspected the small Periya par, situated 
3 miles westward of the west Cheval par, which we found 
irregularly stocked with young oysters. Sounding seaward 
from the bank, we found 9 fathoms at a distance of 1 mile, 
14 fathoms at a distance of 2 miles, and did not strike 
bottom at 150 fathoms at a distance of 4 miles. The sea 
bottom shelves here less abruptly than outside the Muttu- 
wartu par, where a depth of 150 fathoms was obtained at 
a distance of f of a mile from the seaward face of the bank. 
The thermometer registered 54° at 150 fathoms, and 59° at 
100 fathoms, the surface temperature being 83°.- On this 
and the two preceding days a bright blue-eyed Paloemonid 
larva was' very abundant on the surface. 



53 

The next four days, during which the weather was very 
unpleasant and suggestive of a cyclonic storm in the Bay of 
Bengal, were spent in inspecting the east Cheval par. The 
divers, going down as soon as we had anchored at the north 
end of the bank, brought up blocks of incrusted sand-rock, 
and specimens of the black-colored sponge Spongionella 
nigra, but no oysters, which were, in fact, absent over the 
entire bank. This bank is mainly characterised by the 
abundant growth on it of Suberogorgia suberosa, on the 
branches of one of which an Astrophyton (A. clavatum ?) 
was entwined, and heather-like Hydroids (Campannlaria 
juncea, Allman), the tangled branches of which were studded 
with the striped Avicula zebra, and which should afford 
good anchorage for young oysters. Conspicuous among 
other specimens which were obtained, were the sponge 
Hircinia clathrata affording a home to Balanus (Acasta) 
spongites, the corals Turbinaria crater and Turbinaria patula, 
and the echinoderms Antedon palmata, Salmacis bicolor, 
Clypeaster humilis, and Echinaster purpureus. A single 
specimen of Ophiothrix aspidota was found coiled up in a 
cavity in a block of Porites, As on the other banks which 
we inspected, sea-weeds were not present in any quantity. 
The quantity of weed on the banks is said, however, to vary 
much from year to year. 

The inspection of the east Cheval par completed, we 
went a short distance south, and spent a couple of days 
on the Motaragam pars, which were also blank so far as 
oysters were concerned. The pearls from these pars are 
highly valued by the pearl-merchants, and, at the fishery 
of 1888, the oysters fetched from 100 to 109 rupees per 
thousand at auction, a single day's fishing realizing over 
60,000 rupees. The weather had cleared up by this time, 
and the divers were again able to work in comfort for a 
short time. Rain interferes very much with an inspection, 
as the divers complain that it makes them cold and shivery 
when they come out of the water. Here, as on the east 
Cheval par, the animal collected in greatest abundance was 
Glypeaster humilis ; but the divers also brought up many 
specimens of the chank, the unpleasant looking animal of 
which is eaten by the natives; Pinna bicolor, which is said 
to occur on the sandy parts of the banks in beds of some 
extent; and the hammer -headed oyster. The hydroid, which 
was so conspicuous a feature of the east Cheval, was absent 
from the Motaragam par, 

8 



54 

At this stage a strong south-west wind came on, accom- 
panied by an unpleasant swell, and drove us into Silavaturai ; 
but, luckily, all the important work of the inspection tour 
was finished, two small banks alone remaining to be examined. 
A rolling journey on the tug * Active ' brought me back to 
Colombo, and my second visit to Ceylon, more auspicious 
than the first, was over. 

During the last quarter of a century, the Ceylon Govern- 
ment has derived a handsome profit from its pearl banks, 
which have been lucratively fished on ten occasions ; while, 
during the same period, the banks belonging to the Madras 
Government have yielded only two small fisheries, not 
because the oysters have ceased to settle, when young, on 
the banks, but because they have failed, owing to a combina- 
tion of physical and other unfavourable conditions, to reach 
maturity there. Writing, in 1697, for the instruction of the 
political council of Jaffnapatnam, the then commandant of 
that town justly remarked that' the pearl fishery is an extra- 
ordinary source of revenue, on which no reliance can be 
placed, as it depends on various contingencies, which may 
ruin the banks, or spoil the oysters. And this remark holds 
good after the lapse of two centuries. In 1740 the Baron 
von Imhoff, on his departure from the Government of 
Ceylon, in a memoir left for the instruction of his successor, 
stated that u it is now several years since the pearl banks 
have fallen into a very bad state both at Manaar and 
Tuticorin ; this is mere chance, and experience has shown 
that, on former occasions, the banks have been unproductive 
even for a longer period than has yet occurred at present/' 
And a century later, in 1843, Captain Steuart, at the 
commencement of his admirable "Account of the Pearl 
Fisheries of Ceylon," refers to the failure at that time of the 
now lucrative Ceylon fishery. Is it then rash, looking back 
to the fluctuating experience of the past, to express a belief 
that, in the not far distant future, the reputation of the 
Tuticorin banks will rival that of the at present well-favoured 
banks of Ceylon ? 

The name of Captain Donnan has repeatedly appeared in 
this chapter, and I should be, indeed, ungrateful were I to 
fail to acknowledge not only the great assistance which I 
received from him in carrying out my zoological work, but 
also the vast store of information on matters connected with 
the Ceylon pearl-fisheries which I gathered from him during 
our month of pleasant banishment from the outside world. 



PlaU IV 



V 



* 





L 



L'l/i Gov- School *,[' art Calcutta,. 

ANK SHELL: 



55 



IV.—TUTIGORWGHANK FISHERY. 



The sacred chank, conch, or sankhu, is the shell of the 
gastropod mollusc Turbinella rapa, of which a full-grown 
specimen is represented on plate IV, aud is, like the pearl 
oyster and the edible trepang (Holothuria marmorata), one 
of the commercial products of the Gulf of Manaar. 

The chank shell, which one sees suspended on the fore- 
head and round the necks of bullocks in Madras, is not only- 
used by Hindus for offering libations and as a musical in- 
strument in temples, but is also cut into armlets, bracelets, 
and other ornaments. Writing in the sixteenth century, 
Garcia says : — " And this chanco is a ware for the Bengal 

trade, and formerly produced more profit than now 

and there was formerly a custom in Bengal that no virgin 
in honour and esteem could be corrupted unless it were by 
placing bracelets of chanco on her arms ; but, since the 
Patans came in, this usage has more or less ceased, and so 
the chanco is rated lower now." 

" The conch shell, " Captain C. Day writes in ? his Music 
and Musical Instruments of Southern India," is not in secular 
use as a musical instrument, but is found in every temple, 
and is sounded during religious ceremonials, in processions, 
and before the shrines of Hindu deities. In Southern India 
the sankhu is employed in the ministration of a class of 
temple servers called Dassari. No tune, so to speak, can of 
course be played upon it, but still the tone is capable of 
much modulation by the lips, and its clear mellow notes are 
not without a certain charm. A rather striking effect is 
produced when it is used in the temple ritual as a sort of 
rhythmical accompaniment, when it plays the part ot kan- 
nagolu or talavinyasa. 

The use of the chank as ornament is well shown by a 
series of specimens in the ethnology court of the Indian 
Museum, Calcutta, which comprises necklaces worn by Naga 
women, armlets worn by Kuki women, bracelets worn by 
Mikir and Butia women, and bracelets (some of gauntlet 
pattern) made at Dacca. 

The chank appears as a symbol on some of the coins of 
the Chalukyan and Pandyan kingdoms of Southern India, 
and on the modern coins of the Maharajas of Travancore. 

9 



be 

The chank fishery is conducted from Tuticorin, and the 
shells are found in the vicinity of the pearl banks, in about 
seven to ten fathoms/ either buried in the sand, lying on 
the sea bottom, or in sandy crevices between blocks of 
coral rock. The fishery goes on during the north-east 
monsoon, from October to May, and is worked by native 
divers, who, putting their foot on a stone to which a long 
rope is attached, are let down to the bottom, carrying a 
net round the waist, in which they place the chanks as 
they collect them. The shells of the chank are scattered 
about, and not aggregated together in clusters like those of 
the pearl oyster, so that the divers have to move about on 
the bottom from place to place in search of them. The 
divers usually stay beneath the surface about fifty seconds. 
The longest dive which I have myself witnessed was fifty- 
four seconds, and on that occasion the diver, on his return 
to the surface, innocently inquired how many minutes he 
had been under water. A single case is on record of a 
native diver being drowned from greed in overloading his 
net so that he was unable to rise to the surface. 

The number of chanks collected in a day varies very 
much according to the number of divers employed and 
other conditions ; and the records show that as many as six 
thousand or as few as four hundred have been collected. The 
divers, who are furnished with canoes, ropes and other 
apparatus, are paid at the rate of Rs. 20 per thousand shells. 
At the close of the day's fishery the chanks are brought 
on shore, and examined. Those which are defective, either 
from cracks or irregularities of the surface from their hav- 
ing been gnawed by fishes or bored by marine worms, are 
rejected. The remainder are tested with a wooden gauge 
having a hole 2| inches in diameter. Those shells which 
pass through this hole are discarded as being too small, 
and returned to the sea on the chance that the animal may 
revive and continue to grow ; those which are too large to 
pass through the hole are stored in a godown (store-house), 
where the animal substance is got rid of by the process of 
putrefaction, which is assisted by flies and other insects. 
In the month of July the shells are sold by auction in one 
lot to the highest bidder. In 1886 the highest offer was 
Es. 96 per thousand by a native of Kilakarai, which was 
accepted. 

1 For a discussion of the chank as an enemy of the pearl oyster, vide 
Mr. H. S. Thomas' Report on Pearl Fisheries and Chank Fisheries, Madras, 
1884. 



57 

The following statement shows the number of chank 
shells fished, and the net amount realised from 1881 to 
1893 :— 



Years. 


Chanks 
fished. 


Net amount 
realised. 


Remarks. 


1881-82 


303,590 


RS. 

28,450 


The good results in 


1882-83 


247,696 


22,038 


1890-91 were due 


1883-84 


210,005 


11,347 


partly to the beds 


1884-85 


No fishery. 


having been very little 


1885-86 


332,757 


23,970 


fished for three years ; 


1886-87 


183,398 


10,703 


but mainly to the 


1887-88 


50,558 


4,137 


employment of coral 


1888-89 


26,537 


901 


divers, whom the Cey- 


1889-90 


55,639 


3,091 


lon Government re- 


1890-91 


343,726 


19,413 


fused to receive for 


1891-92 ... > 
1892-93 ... j 

Total ... 


316,354 


8,038 


their pearl fishery. 




1,32,088 



It would seem from Simmond's * Commercial products 
of the Sea ; that the chank fishery was, in days gone by, 
more lucrative than it is at present ; for it is there stated 
that " frequently 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 of these shells are 
shipped in a year from the Gulf of Manaar. In some years 
the value of the rough shells, as imported into Madras and 
Calcutta, reaches a value of £10,000 or £15,000. The 
chank fishery at Ceylon at one time employed 600 divers, 
and yielded a revenue to the Island Government of £4,000 
per annum for licenses." 

A right-handed chank (i.e., one which has its spiral 
opening to the right), which was found off the coast of 
Ceylon at Jaffna in 1887, was sold for Rs. 700. Such a 
chank is said to have been sometimes priced at a lakh of 
rupees (Rs. 1,00,000) ; and, writing in 1813, Milburn says 2 
that a chank opening to the right hand is highly valued, and 
always sells for its weight in gold. Further, Baldaeus, 
writing towards the end of the seventeenth century, narrates 
the legend that Garroude flew in all haste to Brahma and 
brought to Kistna the chianJco or kinkhorn twisted to the 
right. 

The curious egg capsules of the chank, of which many 
specimens were brought up for me by the Tuticorin divers, 



Oriental Commerce, vol. I, p, 357. 



58 

have been thus described by my predecessor, Dr. G. Bidie, 
who says of them 3 : " The spawn of the Turbinella consists 
of a series of sacs or oviferous receptacles, the transverse 
markings in the figure indicating the dimensions of each 
capsule. In the fresh state the membranous walls of the sacs 
are pliable, although tough and horny \ and it will be ob- 
served that, during the drying process, the spawn has, from 
the irregular shrinking of the two sides, become curved 
and twisted so as to have somewhat the appearance of a horn. 
The larger oviferous sacs of the Turbinella spawn contain 
from 8 to 10 young shells each, but the smaller ones, towards 
the end of the specimen, are barren/' 

The largest number of young shells which I found in a 
single egg-case was 235, of which the average diameter was 
•62 inch. 

The chank fisheries of the Ceylon coast of the Gulf 
of Manaar are .... protected and regulated by an ordi- 
nance, which I give in detail. 



OKDINANCE EELATING TO CHANKS. 

No. 18.— 1890. 

Whereas it is expedient to amend the Laws relating to 
Preamble. chanks aud to prohibit the diving for, 

and collecting of, chanks, beche-de- 
mer, coral, or shells in the seas between Mannar and 
Chilaw : Be it therefore enacted by the Governor of Ceylon, 
by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative 
Council thereof, as follows : — ■ 

1. This Ordinance may be cited for all purposes as 

"The Chanks Ordinance, 1890/' and 

of operlw and datG & sha11 come int0 operation at such 
time as the Governor in Executive 
Council shall, by proclamation in the Government Gazette, 
appoint. 

2. The Ordinance No. 4 of 1842, intituled "An Or- 

~ , dinance for the protection of Her 

pea ' Majesty's rights in the digging for 

3 Madras Journal of Literature and Science, vol. XXIV, 1879, pp. 
232-234. 



59 

Dead Chanks," and the Ordinance No. 5 of 1842, intituled 
' ' An Ordinance for the protection of Her Majesty's Chank 
Fishery/' are hereby repealed, but such repeal shall not 
affect the past operation of either of the said enactments, 
or anything duly done or suffered, or any obligation, or 
liability, or penalty accrued or incurred under them or 
either of them. 

Where any unrepealed Ordinance incorporates or refers 
to any provision of any Ordinance hereby repealed, such 
unrepealed Ordinance shall be deemed to incorporate or 
refer to the corresponding provision of this Ordinance. 

Definitions. *** ^ n ^" s Ordinance, unless the 

context otherwise requires — 
" Chanks " includes both live and dead chanks. 
" Person " includes any company or association or 
body of persons whether incorporated or not. 

4. (1) There shall be levied and paid on all chanks en- 

tered for exportation a royalty at such 

rates not exceeding one cent on each 

chank, as the Governor, with the advice of the Executive 

Council, shall, from time to time by notification in the 

Government Gazette, appoint. 

(2) No chanks shall be exported save and except from 
Porta of entry an y P or ^ men tioned in the schedule A 

hereto, or from any other port which 
the Governor in Executive Council may appoint by notifi- 
cation in the Government Gazette. 

5. (1) The person entering outwards any chanks to be 
Bill of entry exported from any port shall deliver 

to the collector a bill of the entry there- 
of, expressing the name of the ship and of the master, and 
of the place to which the chanks are to be exported, and of 
the person in whose name the chanks are to be entered, 
together with the number and value thereof, anything in 
the Ordinance No. 17 of 1869 to the contrary notwithstand- 
ing, and shall at the same time pay to the collector any sum 
which may be due as royalty upon the exportation of such 
chanks. 

(2) Such person shall also deliver at the same time one 

Collector's warrant. or D ? ore C0 P ies f such entl 7> and the 
particulars to be contained in such 

entry shall be written and arranged in such form and 

manner, and the number of such copies shall be such as the 

collector shall require, and such entry being duly signed 



60 

by the collector shall be the warrant for examination and 
shipment of such chanks. 

6. Every person who shall export chanks from this 

Island except from any port mentioned 
conX ty to r the P °S ™ .s<*eaule A or from any port ap- 
nance. pointed by the (rovernor in Executive 

Council under section 4, or contrary to 
the requirements of section 5, shall be guilty of an offence 
punishable with simple or rigorous imprisonment for a 
period not exceeding six months, or with a fine not exceed- 
ing one hundred rupees, or with both. 

7. If any chanks subject to the payment of any sums 

due as royalty in respect of exporta- 
Chanks laden before ti ^ R be kden Qr water .borne to 
entry liable to be for- n , . 

feited. be laden on board any ship before due 

entry shall have been made and war- 
rant granted, or before such chanks shall have been duly 
cleared for shipment, or if such chanks shall not agree with 
the bill of entry, the same shall be liable to forfeiture 
together with the package in which they are contained. 

8. It shall not be lawful for any person to use any 

dredge or other apparatus of a like 
lecHnglan^^ow: "«*>» ^ the purpose of fishing for 
bited. or collecting chanks, and every person 

using any dredge or other apparatus of 

a like nature for such purpose shall be guilty of an offence 

punishable with simple or rigorous imprisonment for a 

Penalties period not exceeding six months, or 

with fine not exceeding one hundred 
rupees, or with both ; and every dredge or apparatus of a 
like nature so used as aforesaid shall be forfeited. 

9. It shall not be lawful for any person to fish for, dive 

for, or collect chanks, beche-de-mer, 
Collection of chanks, coral, or shells in the seas within the 

b6che-de-mer, coral or ^ it defined in sc h e( ]ule B hereto, 
shells in the seas be- _ . . .. . j, * 

tween Mannar and and every person who shall fash for, 
Chilaw prohibited. dive for, or collect, or who shall use or 

employ any boat, canoe, raft, or vessel 

in the collection of chanks, beche-de-mer, coral, or shells in 

the said seas, shall be guilty of an offence punishable with 

simple or rigorous imprisonment for a period not exceeding 

Penalties s * x mon ths, or w ^ n fi ne no ^ exceeding 

one hundred rupees, or with both ; and 



61 

every boat, canoe, raft, or vessel so employed as aforesaid, 
together with all chanks, beche-de-mer, coral, or shells 
unlawfully collected, shall be forfeited. 

Provided that nothing in this section contained shall 

~ j prevent any person from collecting 

coral or shells from any portion of the 

said seas in which the water is of the depth of one fathom 

or less. 

Provided also that it shall be lawful for the Governor in 

Pro iso Executive Council from time to time 

or at any time, by notification in the 

Government Gazette, to alter the limits defined in schedule B 

hereto, or exempt any portion or portions of the seas within 

the said limits from the operation of this Ordinance. 

10. (1) Any chank, beche-de-mer, coral, shell, boat, 

canoe, raft, vessel, dredge, or appa- 

Chanks, &c, liable ratus liable to forfeiture under this 

to forfeiture may be Ordinance may be seized by any officer 

tie^n^esftst^ of the customs or police, or by any 

house. headman, or by any person appointed 

for that purpose in writing by the 
government agent of the province or the assistant govern- 
ment agent of the district within which such seizure is 
made, and when seized shall be conveyed to the custom- 
house nearest to the place of seizure and there detained 
until the court having jurisdiction in the matter has deter- 
mined whether the same shall or shall not be forfeited. 

(2) If any such officer, headman, or person shall 

neglect to have any chank, beche-de- 

Penalty on seizing mer ^ coral, shell, boat, canoe, raft, 

tZ 7 3£?S J. J*-* dredge, or apparatus seized by 

tom-house within a him conveyed to such custom-house 

reasonable time. within a reasonable time, he shall be 

guilty of an offence and liable to a 
fine of one hundred rupees. 

11. (1) Every prosecution under this Ordinance may be 

instituted in the police court of the 
jnrisluction!^ *° *"** division in which the offence was com- 
mitted or where the offender is found, 
and such court may by its order declare and adjudge any 
chank, beche-de-mer, coral, shell, boat, canoe, raft, vessel, 
dredge, or apparatus seized and detained under this Ordi- 
nance to be forfeited, and such forfeiture may be in addition 
to any other punishment hereinbefore prescribed, anything 



62 

• 

in the Criminal Procedure Code to the contrary notwith- 
standing. 

(2) A.11 forfeitures may be sold or otherwise disposed 
of in such manner as the police court may direct. 

12. It shall be lawful for the court imposing a fine under 
Informer's share. tllis Ordinance to award to the informer 
any share not exceeding a moiety of 
so much of the fine as is actually recovered and realised. 



SCHEDULE A. 



Kankesanturai. 
Kayts. 



Jaffna. 
Pesalai. 



SCHEDULE B. 

Eastward of a straight line drawn from a point six miles 
westward of Talaimannar to a point six miles westward from 
the shore two miles south of Talai villa. 



Passed in Council the Nineteenth day of November, One 
thousand Eight hundred and Ninety. 





? 



MADRAS GOVERNMENT MUSEUM. 



Bulletin JSfo. 2. 




NOTE ON TOURS 



ALONG THE 



MALABAK COAST 



BY 



EDGAR THURSTON, c.m.z.s., etc., 

Superintendent, Madras Government Museum. 



MADRAS: 
PRINTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, GOVERNMENT PRESS. 

[Price, 1 anna.] 18 9 1. 




MADRAS GOVERNMENT MUSEUM. 



Bulletin, No. 2. 



NOTE ON TOUKS 



ALONG THE 



MALABAE COAST 



BY 

EDGAR THURSTON, o.m.z.s., etc., 

Superintendent, Madras Government Museum. 



MADEAS: 
PRINTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, GOVERNMENT PRESS. 

18 9 4. 



ST? 6'$/ 



NOTE ON TOUES ALONG THE 
MALABAR COAST. 



Soon after my arrival in India, in 1886, accompanied by 
my staff of taxidermists, who excel in fish-stuffing, I made a 
short tour on the western coast of the Madras Presidency, 
from Cochin southwards by the system of backwaters— the 
home of otters and crocodiles — to Trivandrum, the capital oi 
the Maharaja of Travancore. The object of this tour was 
the making of an initial collection of the fishes of Malabar 
for the Madras museum, and the greater part of the time 
was spent at Cochin, which affords abundant natural facilities 
for fish capture. More recently, in 1894, a tour was made 
•from Cochin northward to Cannanore, with halts at Calicut 
and Tellicherry, with a view to making a survey of the 
littoral fauna of the Madras coast of the Indian Ocean with 
the assistance of the dredge. 

The work of the tours commenced on each occasion at 
Trichur, a large town 20 miles from the station of Shoranur 
on the Madras Railway, from which place Trichur is easily 
reached, by a well-avenued road, in bullock cart or pony 
transit. Between Shoranur and Trichur is the village of 
Vadakancheri, where the best Trichur mats are made. At 
Trichur fishing is actively carried on with nets from boats in 
the fine open sheet of water, which extends for some miles 
south of the town. The fish market contained an abundant 
supply of fish caught locally, as well as fish sent from Cochin 
by backwater. 

At the time of my visit in 1886, the phenomenon of phos- 
phorescence was extremely brilliant on the first night spent 
on the backwater ; the fishes, as they darted to and fro, 
being so brilliantly illuminated that I at first thought that it 
must be caused by Micrococcus phlugeri, a microscopic lumin- 
ous organism which grows in colonies on the skin of fishes. 
But, on collecting some of the water in a tumbler, I discovered 
that the phosphorescence was really produced by myriads of 
small medusse, many of which contained tiny Crustacea 
imbedded in their gelatinous substance. Phosphorescence in 
all its brilliancy I have, in the course of many wanderings 

10 



64 

along the coast of Southern India, only seen on one other 
occasion, viz., on the Pulicat lake, north of Madras ; and, in 
this instance, it was produced by hosts of copepods. 

The natives who live along the backwater between Tri- 
chur and Cochin, and rely largely oh the products thereof 
for physiological sustentation, are able to obtain not only an 
abundance of a bivalve mollusc (Vdorita cyprinoides), whose 
shells are collected together and burned into chunam (lime) ; 
but also of fish, which they capture with line or net, or, 
more simply, by wading in the shallow water and picking 
the fish out of the muddy bottom with their hands. Fish 
and shell fish, as. captured, are cleaned from the adhering 
mud, and placed in chatties attached to a string held between 
the teeth, and floating on the surface of the water. The fish 
which I saw captured in greatest abundance were Etroplus 
suratensis, Etroplus maculatus, and Gobius giuris. 

The town of Cochin is situated on the south side of the 
entrance of the most considerable river in Malabar. This 
river opens into the sea out of a broad lagoon with a dense 
background of cocoanuts, which, with the distant line of ' 
hills, wrapped in a grey haze in the spring months, form the 
leading characteristic of the scenery throughout the whole 
length of the backwater. 

The Cochin backwater abounds in oysters (Osfrea, sp.), 
which live in clumps on the stone and wood-work (freely 
bored by an isopod crustacean), and have their shells 
encrusted with anemones, barnacles, and mussels. The oys- 
ters, though eaten by the European community, occasionally 
give rise to an acute intestinal crisis. 

The north bank of the Cochin river is formed by the 
island of Vypeen, which is said to have been created in 
1341 A.D. by a cyclone or earthquake. Climbing up the 
gneiss and conglomerate boulders, which are piled up as 
groynes at Vypeen point, where the river enters the sea, and 
serve as an abode for the mollusc Littorina undulata, were 
the Crustacea Grapsus strigosus and Metagrapsus messor. 

The shells on the Vypeen shore, used for the manufacture 
of chunam, belong to coarse species of Venus, Area, Tapes, 
&c, evidently rolled in from a distance, and worn or broken 
by wave action ; whereas those on the south shore are more 
delicate, and suited for museum exhibition. The south shore 
is riddled with the burrows of giant ocypods (Ocypoda 
platytarsis) , the smaller Ocypoda cordimana, and the " calling 
crab," Gehimus forceps (?), which emerge from their hiding 



65 

places in the morning and evening, and are difficult to catch 
as they scamper along the sand. 

To travellers Cochin is best known as the home of the 
Jews, black, white, and half-caste, concerning whose history 
and customs a great deal of interesting information is con- 
tained in Days' Land of the Permauls ; or Cochin Past and 
Present. But it is, from a commercial standpoint, a very 
important centre of trade in coir fibre, cordage, kopra (dried 
cocoanut kernels), cocoanut oil, ginger, &a. 

The exports from Cochin of the products of the sea, in 
which I am most interested, were in 1892-93 — 

us. 

Fish, salted lbs. 308,560 45,860 

,, dried, not salted 



„ oil 
,, maws x 
Shark fins 



,, 226,002 22,839 
gals. 12,541 5,874 

| lbs. 17,044 6,683 



My camp at Cochin was pitched in the ' compound ' of 
the travellers' bungalow, facing the tidal river, which affords 
anchorage, in 7 to 9 fathoms, for craft of light draft, such 
as can pass over the sandy bar, and load and discharge cargo 
in smooth water. The bungalow is a noted resort of thieves, 
and was, during my stay there in 1886, guarded at night 
by a constable armed with the saw of a young saw fish 
(Pristis), with the base cut away so as to form a handle. 

From the bungalow a scene of busy activity can be 
witnessed from early morning until sunset. The large open 
' compound,' — the resort of stray cattle and goats, which 
caused endless annoyance by rubbing their noses into and 
licking up my specimens drying in the sun — forms a conve- 
nient spot for fishermen to spin the cotton thread for their 
nets by a simple contrivance consisting of a stick weighted 
at the end to which the thread is attached, and deftly swung 
round the head. Visitors to the bungalow are beset by 
professional mendicants making an income out of the pre- 
valent elephantiasis (Cochin leg), which attacks young and 
old alike ; and vendors of stuffed crocodiles with flat glass 
panes for eves, and mouths lined with red or yellow flannel, 
and jewellery of local manufacture made from the small 
silver coins (puttarts) of the Native State of Cochin. 

1 "I have to come down from the regions of high finance to grovel 
among fish maws and shark fins ; but these articles will bring me in 
sufficient revenue to pay for the salary of a High Court Judge for half a 
year." — Speech by the Finance Minister to the Imperial Legislative Council, 
March, 1894. 



66 

Stored in the bungalow ' compound ' are casks of fresh 
water, brought daily from the sanitarium of Alwayi, about 
20 miles from Cochin. The water of the Alwayi river, from 
which I obtained a unique dredging consisting of stone 
gods, has a good reputation, and on it the European commu- 
nity of Cochin depends largely for its supply of wholesome 
water. 

At the time of my visit to Cochin in 1894, boring opera- 
tions, in search for good water, were being actively pushed 
forward near the protestant church, one of the oldest, if not 
the oldest, European churches in India. The Dutch tomb- 
stones, the legends on many of which commence with the 
words ' Hier rust ' (though the bones ' rust ' elsewhere) had 
been transferred, between my visits in 1886 and 1894, from 
the floor to the walls of the church. 

Lining the Cochin river on both the north and south 
banks are rows of Chinese or parallelogram dip-nets, about 
16 feet square, which are let down into the water, and, after 
a few minutes, drawn up again. These nets afford an easy 
and certain source of income, and, like other fixed engines, 
u produce an * unearned increment ' to the owner, irrespec- 
tive of his skill, or of his being a member of the fishing 
community proper.' ' 2 The men who work the nets stand 
protected from the sun within a cad j an shed or beneath the 
shade of a portia 3 or * tulip tree' (Thespesia populnea), 
whence they emerge to pick the fish out of the net (the apex 
or bottom of which is brought within reach by a long rope) 
with a hand-net. When the fishes are small and few in 
number, the fishermen are defeated by the ever- watchful 
crows, who in company with pariah kites (Milvus Govinda) 
sit perched on the wooden framework of the net, waiting 
anxiously for it to be hoisted up out of the water. 

In March, 1886, enormous quantities of mullet {Mugil 
pmcilus), characterised by a deep black spot in the centre of 
the scales, were being caught daily in the parallelogram 
nets. This fish is used extensively as food, and the roe is 
considered a great delicacy. Another species of mullet 
(M. cunnesius) was also caught, but in far smaller quantities. 

Placed across the Cochin backwater, in which long-nosed 
dolphins (Delphinus clussumieri) may frequently be seen 



2 F. J. Talfourd Chater, Prize Essay. Fisheries Exhibition, London, 
1883. 

8 "The word portia is a corruption of Tamil pu-arassu, flower-king." 
JZobson-Jobson. 



67 

disporting themselves, are bamboo labyrinths and rows of 
bamboo stakes with nets affixed thereto at flood-tide. These 
bamboo stakes serve as convenient perches for hosts of the 
smaller sea tern (Thalasseus bengalensis) on the look-out for 
food. Fishermen, simply clad in a loin-cloth and wide- 
spreading circular hat made of palmyra leaves, may con- 
stantly be seen fishing in the river or backwater from canoes 
('dug-outs') with lines or nets ; fishing with bait from the 
jetties ; or, in the cold season, trolling at the mouth of the 
river for ba-min (Polynemus tetradactylus), a specimen of 
which, estimated as weighing over 800 lbs., and a load for 
six men, was recorded by Buchanan Hamilton ('Fish- 
Granges ') from the Gangetic estuary. 

The deep-sea boats {i.e., the boats which fish outside the 
shallow waters of the littoral zone) secured daily, in March, 
1886, large hauls of Engraulis malabaricus, Engraulis indicus 
('anchovy'), and Dassumitria acuta, known all along the 
Malabar coast as the sardine. These fishes are salted and 
dried for food, and the surplus is used for the extraction of 
fish-oil. Also brought in by the deep-sea boats for sale in 
the fish bazar, were the common Crustacea Neptunus pelagicus, 
Neptunus sanguinolentus, Thalamita prymna, and Squilla 
nepa. 

Fish-oil is extracted in largest quantities at Cochin from 
August to December. Hundreds of tons of the oil are said 
to have been annually exported from Cochin in former times, 
and I find that the average export thereof in the five years 
1856 to 1861 was 19,630 cwt. The oil-trade is, however, 
reported to be decreasing year by year. In some seasons 
the sardines arrive off the coast in enormous numbers, or, 
for several consecutive years, they may be present only in 
quantities sufficient for purposes of food. The result of this 
irregularity is that one important element of success in com- 
mercial enterprise — regular supply — is wanting. In some 
years large shoals of sardines^appear, and suddenly disappear. 
Contracts for the supply of 'oil are made on the arrival of the 
fishes, and, in the e^vent of their disappearance, the contrac- 
tor loses heavily. 'The natives of Cochin say that formerly 
the sardines always arrived regularly, and remained through- 
out the season ; and the fishermen's belief is that they are at 
the present day frightened away by the numerous steamers 
which call at Cochin, and retire in search of a less disturbed 
spot. In addition to steam-boat traffic, noises in boats, ring- 
ing church bells, artillery practice, the erection of light- 



68 

houses, gutting fish at sea, using fish as manure, burning 
kelp, and the wickedness of the people, have been charged 
with being responsible for a falling- off of the fish supply ; 
but, as Mr. 0. E. Fryer naively remarks 4 " of these alleged 
causes only the last, it is to be feared, has been, and is 
likely to be, a permanent factor in the case." 

The preparation of the evil-smelling fish-oil is carried out 
in large iron cauldrons, in which the fish are boiled with a 
little water. The oil, as it exudes, rises to the surface, is 
strained through cloth, and stored in barrels. The residue 
in the cauldrons is preserved and utilised as manure for 
cocoanut gardens, paddy fields, &c. 

A rougher and cheaper process of oil extraction, by which 
the cost of cauldrons and firewood was saved, has been prac- 
tically put a stop to as being an offensive trade. This pro- 
cess consisted simply in putting the fishes into a canoe, and 
exposing them to the influence of the sun until decompo- 
sition set in. The oil then rose to the surface and was 
removed with a scoop. By this crude process a compara- 
tively small quantity of oil was obtained. 

A portion of the oil is consumed locally by boat owners 
for smearing their boats so as to preserve the wood and coir 
rope, with which the planks are stitched together. But the 
bulk is exported to Europe and some Indian ports. The 
natives believe that the oil returns from Europe in the guise 
of cod-liver oil. 

During my stay at Cochin a journey was made by back- 
water to the mud-bank of Narrakal, which, like that of 
Alleppy, affords smooth water anchorage for big ships during 
the boisterous weather of the south-west monsoon. The 
mode of formation of these mud-banks, which has given rise 
to much speculation, has been most recently dealt with by 
Mr. P. Lake 5 of the Geological Survey of India, who states 
his opinion that " the Narrakal mud-bank is very probably, 
to a large extent, formed of the silt carried down by the 
Cranganore river. It does not* appear to be very much 
affected by the rise of the backwaters." 

The surface of the vast liquid mud-flats of the backwater 
between Cochin and Narrakal, through which our boat was 
laboriously propelled, is covered with a dense mass of a 
mollusc (Teiescopium fuscum), which produces a curious 

4 Fisheries Exhibition, London, 1883. Prize Essay. 

5 Bee Lake Bee. Geol. Surv. Ind. t vol. XXIII, 1890 ; and King. Bee, 
Qeol. Surv.Ind., vol. XVII, 1884. 



69 

appearance as of the spikes of the helmets of a submerged 
army. On the sandy shore at Narrakal great quantities of 
the mollusc Dactylina orientalis, were being washed up by 
the in -flowing tide ; and the neighbouring muddy shore was 
strewed with full grown shells of the pearl-oyster, Avlcula 
fucata. These pearl-oyster shells were not worn, and must 
have been rolled in by the sea from a bank at no great dis- 
tance from the shore. Of the existence of such a bank I can 
find no record ; but, in the event of the shells being recog- 
' nised hereafter, it would be worthwhile to have an inspec- 
tion made on the chance of discovering a bank which might 
yield material for a fishery on a small scale by the Tuticorin 
divers. 

A single night's journey by British India coasting steamer 
brought me from Cochin to Calicut, the chief town of the 
Malabar district. Landing was possible from a wherry at 
the sandy beach, on which, except during the south-west 
monsoon storms, the waves flow with a gentle ripple, affording 
a strong contrast to the surf-beaten shore at Cochin. 

A cursory examination of ' specimens ' washed on shore 
showed at a glance that the littoral fauna of Calicut differs 
in a very marked degree from that of Cochin, and demon- 
strated the necessity of detailed examination of the entire 
coast line, if any semblance of an approach to an accurate 
knowledge and museum record of the nature and distribution 
of the littoral fauna of Southern India (with which alone I 
am concerned) is to be acquired. 

For the great mass of visitors to museums in India, 6 
who come under the heading of sight-seers, and who regard 
museums as tamasha or wonder houses, it matters but little 
what exhibits are displayed, or how they are displayed, 
provided only that they are attractive. I am myself repeat- 
edly amused by seeing visitors to the Madras museum pass 
hurriedly and silently through the arranged galleries, and 
linger long and noisily over a heterogeneous collection of 
native figures, toys, painted models of fruits, &c. But, in 
addition to the sight-seers, those have to be considered who 
regard museums in the light of institutions where they should 

6 The numbers of visitors to the Madras museum during the years 1888-94 
were as follows : — 

1889-90 .. .. 378,234 



1890-91 
1891-92 
1892-93 
1893-94 



364,542 
361,452 
341,238 
311,112 



70 

be able to acquire solid information ; and our Indian mu- 
seums would be fulfilling a very useful function if, in the 
capital city of each province, collections were brought to- 
gether and properly exhibited, illustrating and forming a 
classified index to the natural history, ethnology, arts, arch- 
aeology, economic resources, dfco., of the province concerned. 

To return, however, to Calicut. Not only do many of the 
delicate mollusca washed on shore belong to different genera 
to those at Cochin, but very conspicuous by their abundance 
were the siphonophora Velella and Physalia (Portuguese 
man-of-war) ; the shells of an edible mollusc (Mytilus 
viridis) ; the young of the cirrhiped Balanus tintinnabulum, 
the carapaces of the crustacean Matuta miersii ; 7 the burrow- 
ing crustacean Hip pa asiatica, swarms of which are destroyed 
by fishermen with each cast of their shore nets, and heaped 
upon shore; sharks' vertebrae, teeth, and egg- cases attached 
to drift coir fibre ; worn madreporarian coral fragments, 
doubtless carried across by currents from the Laccadive 
Islands; and a pennatulid (Cavernularia malabarica, sp. n., 
Fowler.) This pennatulid was being cast ashore in large 
numbers at the time of a visit to Calicut during the south- 
west monsoon, 1893, with the object of ascertaining whether 
Calicut could serve as a source of supply of cowry shells 
(Cyprcea moneta) for the Belgian Congo State. 8 

The crustacean Hippa asiatica, which lies buried between 
tide-marks on the Calicut beach, is collected by digging with 
the hands, roasted with medicinal herbs purchased in the 
bazar, and applied as a fomentation to sore legs. 

After some days spent in dredging at Calicut, the 
journey was continued by road to Tellicherry, one of the 
most delightful drives in the plains of Southern India. 
Conspicuous by their abundance were the cocoanut, and 
betel palm (Areca Catechu) ; the deciduous silk-cotton tree 
(Bombax malabaricum) in full flower ; black pepper vines 
(Piper nigrum) twining up the trunks, and sheltered by the 
branches of the coral tree (Erythrina indica) ; the cashew 
(Anacardium occidentale) laden with ripening nuts ; and jack- 
fruit trees (Artocarpus integrifolia) with the young fruits 
protected by wicker baskets from the attacks of predatory 
birds. 

The transfer of the pony carts to the ferry boats, by 
which the passage of the three rivers opening into the sea 

7 J. R. Henderson, Journ., Mad. Lit. Soo. } 1887. 

8 The supply was eventually arranged for by a Bombay firm. 



71 



between Calicut and Tellicherry is effected, afforded an 
opportunity of studying the habits of the * calling ' or ' dhobi' 
crabs (Gelasimus cmnulipes), which abound in the mud between 
tide-marks. These crabs were hard at work with their 
young families making the burrows which serve as their 
dwelling places ; the adults bringing up between their feet 
from the bottom of the burrows in course of construction mud 
rolled into pellets, which they pushed with their feet to a 
distance of several inches from the mouth of the burrow ; 
cleaning the feet from adherent particles of mud, and again 
descending into the burrow, remaining under ground from ten 
to twenty seconds. In the work of removing the mud pellets 
from the mouths of the burrows the adults were zealously 
assisted by the young. 

A few miles south of Tellicherry the quiet and picturesque 
French settlement of Mahe was passed, and at the octroi or 
customs chowki declaration of contraband goods, alcoholic 
and other, had to be made. At Mahe the manufacture of 
sardines a Phuile is, I believe, still carried, on ; and that fish- 
curing operations are carried on there was clear from the 
strong odour at the northern outskirts of the town. 

Tellicherry with its miniature bays, low cliffs of gneiss 
and laterite (extensively used for building purposes) , and sea- 
girt rocks forming a natural brickwater, is a charmingly 
picturesque place, which ranks high as a centre for fish- curing 
operations, as is evidenced by the following statistics gleaned 
from the administration reports of the department of salt 
revenue : — 



Year. 


Weight of fish 
cured. 


Weight of Salt 
issued. 


1888-89 

1889-90 

1890-91 

1891-92 

1892-93 


MAUNDS. 

88,675 
89,162 

103,705 
93,733 

104,226 


MAUNDS. 

14,654 
12,655 
15,344 
12,556 
13,708 



Fish»curing operations were slack at the time of my visit 
in March 1894 ; only a few sardines and mackerel {Scomber 
micolepidotus), which is not nearly such good eating as the 
British mackerel, being in various stages of preparation. 

Sardines are caught in large numbers from October to 
January, either close in shore, in two or three fathoms, or 

U 



72 

from eight to ten miles out at sea. If they are very oily, a 
boat-load will be worth only from 8 annas to a rupee, as the 
fishes are, when in this condition, unsuited for salting and 
drying. The surplus supply of sardines is sent to Coorg, 
Travancore, Colombo, etc .as fish-manure for planters' estates, 
at the rate of Rs. 27 to Rs. 28 per ton at Tellicherry. Those 
fish which are salted and dried for food are sent up-oountry 
to Coorg, the Wynad, &c, and by coasting steamer to Tuti- 
oorin and other coast towns, freight being charged at the rate 
of 12 annas per bundle of 165 lbs. 

The Tellicherry fish-curing yards are situated on the 
shore at the southern extremity of the town in proximity to 
the fishermen's quarters. The shore opposite the yards was, 
at the time of my visit, crowded with a dense mass of crows 
and terns on the look-out for succulent fish morsels. 

The oost of the store-houses and fences and of keeping 
them in good repair has to be borne by the fish-curers, for 
the most part Mukkuvar women, who, as set forth in a reoent 
petition to His Excellency the Grovernor of Madras, " have to 
" work in the fish-curing yards both day and night, and sepa- 
" rate themselves from their babies.-" The annual expenditure 
under this head is said to amount to Rs. 250 to Rs. 300 at 
Tellioherry, and Rs. 150 at Cannanore; the greater expense 
at the former place being due to the fact that the fences are 
there situated near the sea and get damaged by the breakers 
during the south-west monsoon. 

The boat-owners, who keep the boats in repair and supply 
the nets, allow the boat's crew (fourteen men to a pair of 
boats) half the value of the take, which is divided among the 
men ; and, in addition, encourage them to work by giving 
them a present of a small percentage of the fish. The orew 
have to be maintained by the boat -owner, to whose service 
they are pledged, during the south-west monsoon from June 
to October, when, unless the monsoon is exceptionally light, 
fishing operations come to a standstill. The boat-owners 
hand over their share of the spoil to their own ticket-holders 
(licensed fish-curers), or sell it to other ticket-holders. 

The boats, which cost from Rs. 250 to Rs. 500, are made 
of am? wood (Artocarpus hirsuta, a lofty evergreen tree of the 
western ghats), and last for many years. The nets cost from 
Rs. 50 to Rs. 200. A pair of properly equipped boats 
requires about twenty nets, valued at about Rs. 1,500, adapted 
for catching different kinds of fish, e.g., nets of narrow mesh 
and thin thread for sardines and mackerel, and of wide 
mesh and thick thread for cat-fishes. 



73 

The boats, on their return from the fishing ground, are 
beached opposite the fish-yards, which, with the prevailing 
odour (far less offensive, however, than the odour of putridity 
which emanates from decomposing oysters) recalled the days 
spent in the pearling camp at Tuticorin. The fish, as soon 
as they are landed, are taken to a shed outside the fence 
which protects the curing-yards against thieves, where they 
are cleaned ; the guts (which might be utilised as manure) 
being buried in the sand. They are then carried down to 
the sea in baskets and washed. After washing, they are 
taken to the weighing shed, where they are weighed, and 
government salt is issued in proportion to the weight of the 
fish at a rate, which has in recent years been raised from 
12 annas to 1 rupee per maund. 

At Tellicherry a sub-Inspector assisted by a staff of 
peons is responsible for weighment of the fish and distribu- 
tion of salt to the ticket-holders, who number over a hundred. 
After a good haul, a ticket-holder may have 60-70 maunds 
of fish or more. The whole of this has to be weighed, 
calculations have to be made, and salt has to be issued under 
the direction of the single official with, I was informed, the 
result that the ticket-holders may have have to wait from 
morning till evening for their salt, the fish meanwhile 
softening under the influence of the sun. 

As soon as salt has been delivered to the fish-curers, the 
fish are removed to a shed within the fence, salted and put 
in tubs, wherein small fish have to remain for one night, big 
fish for two nights. When the salting is complete, the fish 
are washed in water, which has to be brought from the sea to 
the yard, and dried on matting in a space allotted to the 
ticket-holder, covered in by netting to keep out thieving 
birds. 

Big fish are thoroughly dried in four days ; small fish, 
e.g., sardines, in one to three days. When dry, the produce 
is, in compliance with the rules, again weighed, and either 
sold to traders, or stored in a shop for which a small muni- 
cipal tax has to be paid. 

The fish are not allowed to be removed from the yard 
until they are thoroughly dried, and the Mukkuvar fishing 
community, who seem to suffer from competition with other 
and richer natives (Moplas and others) with more capital at 
their command, who deal in cured fish, and buy up a great 
deal of the fish which comes into the market, complain that 
they are in consequence precluded from selling partially dried 



74 



fish, when a demand for it arises. I was told that the 
natives of Madura, Chittoor, Vellore, and other places, prefer 
fish salted without drying, and that the demand cannot be 
met, as the fish must be thoroughly dried before they leave 
the yard. 

The Mukkuvars complain further that, if, as I was told, 
happens repeatedly during the north-east monsoon, when big 
fish, e.g., seir and cat-fish, are caught, the boats come in after 
9 p.m., the fish-curers cannot obtain salt until the following 
morning, by which time decomposition has commenced ; and, 
in the petition to which reference has been made, they asked 
inter alia, that salt be ordered to be supplied to them in the 
yard at all hours of the day and night, when they require it. 

The steady development of the fishing industry on both 
the east and west coasts of the Madras Presidency in recent 
years, and the greater importance of the industry on the west 
than on the east coast are shown by the following tables 9 : 



Year. 




Weight of fish, brought 
to be cured. 


Total. 




East Coast. West Coast. 


1886-87 
1887-88 
1888-89 
1889-90 
1890-91 
1891-92 
1892-93 


• . 


TONS. 

9,526 
12,637 
15,781 
15,233 
16,426 
16,692 
15,737 


TONS. 

20,847 

24,858 
25,830 
28,263 
33,768 
30,769 
29,263 


TONS. 

30,373 

37,495 
41,611 
43,496 
50,194 
47,461 
45,000 



The importance of the Malabar fish industry, relatively 
to that of the eleven other districts of the Madras Presidency, 
in which the industry is carried on, is shown by the following 
table 9 : 



Year. 


Quantity of salt- fish 

manufactured 

in the Malabar 

district. 


Total quantity 
of salted fish manu- 
factured in 
all districts of the 
Presidency. 


1890-91 

1891-92 

1892-93 


MAUNDS. 

434,669 
444,300 
426,612 


MAUNDS. 

796,500 
792,047 
732,651 



9 Administration Eeport of the Department of Salt Revenue. 



75 

In the British trade different kinds of fish are distin- 
guished by the terms * prime ' and ' offal ' ; and, as the 
names imply, the former are consumed by the richer, the 
latter by the poorer classes. In India, even more than in 
Great Britain, the fish supply is essentially a poor man's 
question, and the prosperity of the fishing industry depends 
on the offal, and not on the prime. 

In the city of Madras, the ' microscopic minority ' of 
Europeans, who are regular fish-eaters, will go on year after 
year without seeing at their table any other fish, out of the 
large variety which is sold in the fish bazar, than seir 
(several species of Cybium guttatum) ; pomphret, white, silver, 
grey, 10 or black (Stromateus sinensis, S. cinereus and 8. niger); 
the so-called 'whiting' {Sittago sihama) ; and perhaps an 
occasional flat-fish (Psettodes erumei), which is a poor sub- 
stitute for the British sole. During three years in Calcutta I 
only saw served up hilsa (Clupea ilisha), which, though bony, 
is excellent when smoked; begti (Lates calcarifer), and the 
mangoe fish or tupsee muchee {Polynemus paradiseus), which 
comes up the Hooghly river for spawning purposes in very 
large numbers. Again, at Cochin, out of about forty differ- 
ent kinds of fish classed as edible by natives, which were 
being caught at the time of my visit, only four were con- 
sidered fit to place before me, viz., seir, ' whiting ', mullet, and 
sardines. 

In the waters of the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, 
by which the Madras Presidency is bounded, with their 
enormous and varied fish resources, it may be safely said 
that there is no danger of exhaustion of supply from over- 
fishing. The fishing industry is, in fact, from want of capi- 
tal and lack of commercial enterprise, on the part of the 
native fishing community, carried on at present on too 
small a scale to be really profitable, and is capable of great 
expansion. 

In the British seas trawl-fishing is carried on at a dis- 
tance of 80 to 100 miles from the nearest port, whereas, in 
the Madras Presidency, e.g., at Tellicherry, the 'deep-sea' 
boats only go out from 8 to 10 miles from the coast. Short, 
however, as is this distance, speed in reaching the shore is 
an advantage, for the boats (in which no provision is made 
for protection of the fish from the sun), are not allowed by 

10 Silver pomphret is the immature, and grey pomphret the adult 
Stromateus cinereus. 



76 



the regulations to take salt to the fishing ground, and, as is 
well known, decomposition sets in, in tropical climates, with 
terrible rapidity. 

The coast trade is amply provided for by the service of 
coasting steamers, which constantly ply from port to port, 
and serve as an easy medium of communication with Colombo, 
the Clapham Junction of the east. Tellicherry is, however, 
40 miles distant from the terminus of the Madras Kail way 
at Calicut ; but increased railway communication, with 
favourable rates for the carriage of fish, and refrigerating 
vans would do much to advance the up-country distribution 
of fish, both prime and offal. From returns supplied by the 
Traffic Manager of the Madras Kailway Company, I find 
that the weight of salt-fish consigned from the west coast (at 
the rate of 8 pies per ton per mile at owner's risk, and 10 
pies at the Company's risk) during the years 1889-93, was 
as follows : — 



Year. 


From 


Total. 


Tirur. 


Tarmr. 


Parpan- 
gadi. 


Calicut. 


1889 .. 

1890 .. 

1891 .. 
1892 
1893 .. 


MAUNDS. 

51,796 
56,342 
64,040 
44,561 
44,484 


MAUND8. 

42,618 
48,392 
53,045 
39,849 
31,974 


MAUNDS. 

27,399 
30,331 
30,631 
31,938 
27,446 


MAUNDS. 

22,280 
22,024 
15,348 
15,152 
16,820 


MAUNDS. 

144,093 
157,089 
163,064 
131,500 
120,724 



The bulk of the traffic takes place between September and 
March, and coincides with the time at which fishing is most 
actively carried on. 

For the development of the export trade from the Madras 
Presidency, which, at the present day, extends outside India 
(including Burma) practically only to Ceylon, the adoption 
of improved methods of fish-curing is essential. On this point 
the Tellicherry boat-owners, who interviewed me, say " How 
can the poor Mukkuvars afford to introduce improvements ? " 

It has been argued, with reference to the British fisheries, 
that " the State should neglect no opportunity of master- 
" ing, through the agency of duly-qualified department, every 
" detail, natural, as well as artificial, of the fishing industry, 
" and might do much, apart entirely from ' protection ' and 
" * encouragement ' of the fishing industry." Whether the 



77 

native fishing community should be trained in improved 
methods of fish-curing under the direction of experts versed 
in the methods adopted in the big fbh-curing establishments 
of Europe ; whether they should, in their own interests, 
make an effort to send one or more members of their com- 
munity to Europe to study. these methods for themselves; 
or whether one or more officials should be deputed to Europe 
with the object of learning how far the European methods 
are capable of application to India, it is unnecessary to discuss 
in this note. 







. — 

IffAUKAtf GOVEBNMENT MUSEUM. 



Bulletin No. 3. 



RAMESVARAM ISLAND 



AND 



FAUNA OF THE GULF OF MANAAR. 



SECOND EDITION, REVISED WITH ADDITIONS. 



BY 

EDGAR THURSTON, c.m.z.s., etc., 

Superintendent, Madras Government Museum, 



MADRAS: 

PRINTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, GOVERNMENT PRESS. 




[Price, 1 rupee.] 18 9 5. 



aira* ©ttumimenf f|tt$*ttm JMblms* 



No. 1.— Pearl and Chank Fisheries of the Gulf 
of Manaar. 

No. 2. — Note on Tours along the Malabar Coast. 

No. 3. — RXmesvaram Island and Fauna of the 
Gulf of Manaar. 

No. 4. — Anthropology of the Todas and Kotas of 
the Nilgiki Hills (mi the Press). 



Nature.—" A series of Bulletins of the Madras Government Mu- 
seum has been commenced by the Superintendent, Mr. Edgar Thurs- 
ton, and Parts I and II, which have reached this country, contain 
much useful information upon the fisheries and marine zoology 
of the Presidency. Part I contains a revised account of the ' Notes 
on the Pearl and C hank Fisheries of the Gulf of Manaar'; and its 
subject-matter is already known in great part to British students 
of 'applied zoology.' Part It entitled 'Note on Tours along the 
Malabar .Coast,' records a number of interesting observations in 
marine zoology made on the West Coast of Madras. It is interest- 
ing to note that even there the natives have their fishery question." 

Calcutta Review. — Bulletin No. 1, Pearl and Chank Fisheries. 
" Wonderful is the quantity of information Mr. Thurston has 
deftly compressed within the 58 pages of what he modestly calls a 
Bulletin. Science, archaeology, political economy, folklore, Sir Edwin 
Arnold's poetry, are all laid under contribution, and yet in every page 
the author's shrewd personality asserts itself. He makes a dull 
topic bright, and contrives to enliven the driest of details." 

Indian Journal of Education. — In Bulletin No. 1 Mr. Thurston 
gives, in a very pleasant and readable form, an account of his visits 
to the pearl and ohank fishing grounds of the Madras and Ceylon 
Governments, Those who take an interest in the commercial 
industries of India will find much valuable information. The natu- 
ralist too will discover much that claims his attention in these 
pages, for in a graphic and interesting way the writer has contrived 
to throw in a large number of facts relative to the fauna of the 
Gulf of Manaar. 

"No one doubts that the seas, which, lave our Indian Coasts, 
are abundantly stocked with edible fish, but the problem of making 1 
these vast resources available for the food supply of the half-fed 
masses of this country, has never yet been satisfactorily solved. 
We recommend Bulletin No. 2 to the attention of every thoughtful 
reader." 






MADRAS' GOVERNMENT MUSEUM. 



Bulletin No. 3. 



RAMESVARAM ISLAND 



AND 



FAUNA OF TEE GULF OF MANAAE. 



SECOND EDITION, REVISED WITH ADDITIONS. 



BY 



EDGAR THURSTON, o.m.z.s., etc., 

Superintendent, Madras Government Museum. 



MADEAS: 
PRINTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, GOVERNMENT PRESS. 



1895 






Frontispiece. 






* 




I -RAMESVARAM ISLAND. 



In January, 1887, it was my privilege to accompany the 
Secretary to Government, Public Works Department, and 
the Presidency Port Officer, Madras, on a tour of inspection 
of the light-houses, which come within the jurisdiction of 
the Madras Government, from Mangalore on the north-west 
round Cape Comorin to Gopalpur on the north-east. My 
knowledge of the littoral of the Madras Presidency was, 
apart from Madras, at that time confined to R&mesvaram 
island, on which a few days had been spent in 1886, and 
the west coast from Cochin to Trivandram, which I had 
visited, Tvith a view to making a collection of the fishes of 
Malabar, especially at Cochin, soon after my first arrival 
in India in 1885. Though the halts at the light-house 
stations were as a rule very short, this tour of inspection 
afforded me an excellent opportunity of forming a general 
idea as to the zoological capacity of the different parts 
of the coast. The specimens cast up on shore afford in 
some measure an index to the still living and submerged 
fauna of the neighbouring sea ; and an examination of these, 
coupled with visits to the fish bazars, enabled me to decide 
what parts of the coast were likely to afford the most pro- 
fitable field for future investigation. 

A casual non -scientific observer, walking along the sandy 
surf-beaten beach at Madras, will probably find nothing 
to attract his attention except a number of coarse shells des- 
tined for the manufacture of chun&m (lime), an occasional 
flattened jelly-fish, and swift-footed crabs (Ocypoda) which, 
on the approach of man, scamper away, and disappear, like 
rabbits, into their burrows. But, if the same observer 
walks along the shore at P&mban, he cannot help noticing 
that, as shown in the frontispiece, it is strewn with broken 
fragments of dead coral, among which branches of madre- 
pores are most conspicuous, and sponges washed on shore by 
a recent tide, or dried up above tide-mark. And, if he trusts 
himself upon the slimy blocks of coral which are exposed 
at low tide, and turns them over so as to display their under- 

12 



80 

surface, he will find hidden there a wealth of marine animals 
— crabs, boring anemones, annelids, shell-fish, trepangs 
(be'ches-de-rner) , and bright-coloured encrusting sponges. 
And the Madras beach may, allowing for differences of 
species, be taken as fairly representative of the coast of the 
Presidency, with the exception of the coral-fringed shores 
of the islands which skirt the coast of the gulf of Manaar, 
which I have visited on several occasions in the months of 
July and August. These months, though warm, proved 
very favorable, owing to the absence of rain, for carrying 
out investigations, and for the drying of specimens, e.g., 
stuffed fishes, big sponges, and corals, such as are not 
suitable for preservation in alcohol or other fluid medium. 
Even, however, under the most favourable climatic condi- 
tions, the work of a marine zoologist beneath a tropical 
sun is, apart from the personal discomfort caused by the sun 
and glare on the water, except in the very early morning 
and towards sunset, attended by many difficulties, which 
are graphically described by Haeckel, who says, 1 speaking 
of surface-netting with a gauze tow-net :— " The wealth of 
varieties of marine creatures to be found in the Bay of 
Belligam was evident even on my first expedition. The 
glass vessels, into which I turned the floating inhabitants 
of the ocean out of the gauze net, were quite full in a few 
hours. Elegant Medusce, and beautiful Siphonophora were 
swimming among thousands of little crabs and Sal pee ; 
numbers of larvae of mollusca were rushing about, mingled 
with fluttering Hyaleadce and other pteropoda, while swarms 
of the larvse of worms, Crustacea, and corals, fell a helpless 
prey to greedy Sagittce. Almost all the creatures are color- 
less, and as perfectly transparent as the sea-water in which 
they carry on their hard struggle for existence, which, 
indeed, on the Darwinian principle of selection, has given 
rise to the transparency of these pelagic creatures. But I 
soon discovered to my grief that, within a very short time 
after being captured, at most half an hour and often not 
more than a quarter, most of the fragile creatures died ; 
their hyaline bodies grew opaque, and, even before we could 
reach the land, I perceived the characteristic odour exhaled 
by the soft and rapidly decomposing bodies." 

Haeckel's experience is, unfortunately, not an uncommon 
one, and, while staying at Pamban, I frequently had the 

1 Visit to Ceylon. Transl. by Clara Bell, 1883. 



81 

mortification of finding, on my return from a surface- 
netting expedition to the improvised laboratory at the 
Raja's bungalow, instead of a crowd of living animals, 
an amorphous mass composed of their corpses at the bottom 
of the collecting glasses. It is, in fact, essential for the 
preservation of many of the gelatinous pelagic organisms 
that they should, in this country, in the absence of an 
apparatus by which they can be supplied with a constant 
stream of cool water, be at once treated with the necessary 
fixing and preservative re-agents; but the management of 
the requisite processes is by no means an easy matter in 
the limited space afforded by a native dug-out (canoe). 
The suggestion made by Haeckel that the death and decom- 
position of the delicate organisms might be prevented by 
placing them in vessels cooled by ice is, without doubt, an 
excellent one ; but unfortunately, ice canuot as a rule be pro- 
cured in out-of-the-way places where one most requires it. 

Among the pelagic organisms which I have collected 
over the coral reefs in the gulf of y Manaar may be men- 
tioned various small Medusas, Beroe, Cydippe, Bolina (pre- 
sent one morning in such abundance that the net became 
instantly filled with a thick jelly), dense crowds of copepod 
and schizopod crustaceans sometimes rendering the surface 
of the water milky ; Zocea, Phyllosoma, and Alima larvae ; 
violet-blue Janthince ; and Styliola aciculo, a pteropod 
mollusc, whose dead glassy shells are very abundant in 
deposits from the sea bottom. Less frequently met with 
were young cephaZopods, of which the adults, as well as a 
clicetopod (Nereis ?) obtained by digging deep holes in the 
sand, are extensively used as bait by the fishermen ; Salpce; 
and the ova and young of fishes. Floating, too, on the 
surface of the water, and conspicuous by their bright 
colouring, were various siphonophora — Physalla (the Portu- 
guese man-of-war), Velella with its sundial-like crest, and 
Porpita with its exquisitely marked disc. Many minute 
pelagic animals were obtained by shaking in a tumbler of 
water the marine algae which were floating over or living 
on the reefs, and of which the most conspicuous were 
Sargassum vulgar e and Padina pavonia (peacock's tail). 
These pelagic organisms, from which the main food-supply 
of the coral polyps is probably derived, were far more 
abundant and varied over the Pamban reef during my visit 
to Barnes varam island in 1886 than in 1888 : and this is 
probably to be explained by the fact that, in the former 



82 

year, there was but little wind, and the water was so clear 
that, in the early morning before the gentle day breeze set 
in, the individual corals could be clearly distinguished as 
one rowed over the reef; whereas in the latter year there was 
generalty a strong south-west wind blowing, and a rapid 
current running through the Pamban pass, carrying with it 
sediment in suspension, which, rendered the water turbid : 
and, as is known, a pure and transparent condition of the 
water is the first and indispensable condition for the life 
of many marine creatures, especially those of the coast. 
Moreover, the ripple on the surface probably drove the 
pelagic animals into deeper water, which was not explored 
in search of them. On calm mornings, when the surface 
has been teeming with small medusae, I have seen the 
living organisms and their dead gelatinous remains adher- 
ing in large quantities to the surface of greedy living coral 
polyps with their tentacles expanded, which were brought 
up for me by my divers. There has been a noticeable ab- 
sence of big jelly-fishes during my visits to Kamesvaram 
Island. Only, in fact, during the last few days of my stay- 
on the island in 1889 did I see a few large rhizostomids 
(called by the natives sort, i.e., nettles), floating over the reef 
or washed on shore. Phosphorescence, too, I have never 
seen well marked in the gulf of Manaar, the sight of an 
occasional luminous flash from a pelagic organism being 
the poor reward of night vigils. 

The island of Kamesvaram, which is visited during the 
course of the year by enormous numbers of Hindu pilgrims 
from all parts of India to the celebrated temple, is separated 
from Ihe mainland by the Pamban pass, which connects 
Palk's strait with the north end of the Gulf of Manaar, 
and is 1,350 yards in width. The depths in the channel 
range from 10J to 15 feet at low water, but it shoals up 
very suddenly on both sides, so that great care is necessary 
in navigating vessels through. " In the Pamban channel," 
Mr. H. S. Thomas writes in his B id in India, " there are, 
or at least used to be some twenty years ago, a number of 

splendid runs There was a fish there that we 

used to call the Pamban salmon, and were well content 
with the name. It turns out to be our mutual friend 
Polynemus." 

On the west side of the pass is the great dam, consist- 
ing of large masses of sandstone, all having a more or less 
flat surface, which were formerly part of a causeway extend- 



83 

ing from Ramesvaram Island across to the mainland. The 
remains of this causeway are still visible on the main road 
from Pdmban to the town of Rdmesvaram. 

According to the folk-lore of the Hindus, the so-called 
bridge, which formerly connected Ramesvaram island with 
Ceylon, was built by an army of monkeys when Rama made 
war against R&vana, who had, carried off his wife Sita to the 
island of Lanka (Ceylon), and as Mr. Bruce Foote observes: 2 
"the series of large flat blocks of sandstone so strongly 
resemble a series of gigantic stepping-stones, that it is 
impossible to wonder at the imagination of the author or 
(in analogy with the Homeric epos) authors of the Eama- 
yana that the rocky ridge was really an old causeway of 
human construction. " A grotesque picture in Moor's 'Hindu 
Pantheon/ represents Hanuman assisted by Sugriva and 
their associates building the bridge. In connection with 
the building of the reef a story goes to the effect that the 
common South Indian squirrel (Sciurus palm arum) used to 
help the monkeys by rolling in the sand on the shore, so as 
to collect it in its thick hairy coat, and then depositing it 
between the piled up stones, so as to cement them together. 
At which service Rama was so pleased that he stroked the 
squirrel on the back, which has, ever since, borne the finger 
marks. 

Writing in 1821 concerning Adam's Bridge, Davy ob- 
serves 3 that : " No one who looks at a map and notices the 
little distance (about 17 miles) between the nearest point of 
the island (Ceylon) and continent, and how, by the chain of 
rocks and sand-banks commonly called Adam's Bridge, they 
are still imperfectly connected, can entertain much doubt 
that the connection was once perfect. This inquiry is more 
curious than useful. It would be much more useful to endea- 
vour to complete that which nature has begun, and to make 
the channel, which is now obstructed and dangerous, clear 
and safe, and fit for the purposes of coast navigation. If, on 
examination, sandstone and coral rock should be found 
constituting part of Adam's Bridge instead of primitive 
rock, one necessary inference is that the channel, at what- 
ever period formed, was once deeper and more open than it is 
at present, and another inference is that, in process of time, 
it will be closed up, and Ceylon joined to the continent." 
The possibility of making an artificial union between 

- 2 Mem. GeoL 8urv. t Ind. t vol. xx, 1883. 8 Travels in Ceylon, 



84 

Southern India and Ceylon, by means of a railway across 
what remains of Adam's Bridge, is at the present time 
under discussion. 

Tradition runs to the effect that, at the time of the dis- 
ruption of Ramesvaram island from the mainland on the 
one side and Ceylon on the other, the cows became prisoners 
on the island, and being unable, like the cows at Cape Cod, 
which are fed on herring's heads, to adapt themselves to a 
fish diet, took to living on sea-weeds, and have become, by 
degrees, converted into diminutive ' metamorphosed cows/ 
which may still be seen grazing on the shore. This story 
is based on the fancied resemblance of the horned coffer- 
fishes (Ostradcn cornutus), which are frequently caught in 
the fishing- nets, to cattle. Portions of the skulls of cats 
and dogs, including the articulated temporal, parietal, and 
occipital bones, which are sometimes picked up on the 
beach, also bear a rude resemblance to the skull of a cow, 
the horns being represented by the zygoma. 

During the time of my stay at Pamban in 1888, a bucket 
dredger was at work in the pass, and from the mud brought 
up by it 1 obtained many small Crustacea, echinoderms 
(chiefly Laganum depressum and Fibularia volva), mollusca 
(of which Leda mauritiana was one of the most abundant) 
including great quantities of the little Avicula, vcxillum, 
which was formerly mistaken for the young of the pearl- 
oyster, a gephyrean (Dendrostoma signifer), B ranchiostomcu 
(Amphioxns), and many fragments of a small Fung la t which 
must be very plentiful, but of which I have never obtained 
a perfect specimen. 

Southward of the Pamban pass are three islands, Pulli, 
Pullivausel, and Coorisuddy, completely encircled by an 
irregular coral reef, the whole forming a natural break- 
water protecting the pass and the channels leading to it 
from the violence of the south-west winds. The space 
be. ween the northern edge of this reef and the pass 
forms a. fine sheltered anchorage for vessels of light draft 
in all weathers. The deepest water between the above 
islands and the pass is immediately south of Coorisuddy, 
and is called the basin, over which there is an average 
depth of 18 feet, but in one spot there is a depth of 21 feet. 
This basin is, however, very narrow, being simply a hole 
scoured out by the action of the water in rushing through 
the pass : and, consequently, is of little value to ships, as it 
has tne pass to the northward of it with only 10 feet, and 



I 



85 



the sand-bank channel to the southward with only 9J feet 
at low water. The tides are very irregular at Pamban, the 
rise and fall being much affected by the winds. The aver- 
age springs rise 3 feet ; but, during neaps, sometimes for 
48 hours, there is frequently only a rise and fall of 1 or 2 
inches. The currents are generally influenced by, and strong 
in proportion to the force of the wind. Through the Pam- 
ban pass the current frequently attains to a velocity of from 
5 to 6 knots an hour, rendering it at times difficult even to 
take full-powered steamers through. During the north- 
east monsoon the current sets to the north through the 
pass. The only months in which a real tidal current is 
noticeable are March, April, and October, when it generally 
sets six hours each way. No records of the temperature of 
the water over the reef are extant, and, as my visits have 
always been at the same season, extending over only a few 
weeks of the year, the temperature observations which I 
have made are practically of no value. The following table, 
however, shows the maximum and minimum and monthly 
range, recorded at the Pamban marine office in the shade 
at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the twelve months from April 
1st, 1688, to March 31st, 1889. The range of temperature 
during that period will be seen to be from 76° to 92°, i.e., 
16°:— 



— 


Minimum. 


Maximum. 


Range. 


April, 1888 


81° 


92° 


11° 


M »y » ••• 


79° 


91° 


12° 


June „ 


84° 


88° 


4° 


July „ 


84° 


89° 


5° 


August „ 


84° 


88° 


4° 


September, 1888 


84° 


89° 


5° 


October „ 


78° 


89° 


11° 


November „ 


78° 


89° 


11° 


December „ 


77° 


86° 


' 9° 


January, 1889 


76° 


81° 


5° 


February ,, ... 


80° 


88° 


8° 


March „ ... 


82° 


92° 


10° 



The town of Pamban is situated on the western extre- 
mity of the island, and lies to the west and south-west of 
the light-house, built on the top of a sand-hill, at the foot of 
which is a good example of sand-rock, i.e., a mass of fine 
sand, which has become compacted by the action of wind 



86 

and spray, so as to form a stratified friable rock exposed 
amid the surrounding loose blown sand. With the excep- 
tion of the Port officer's house and a few others, the houses 
consist principally of huts made of cajan leaves. The 
native population is mainly made up of boatmen and fisher- 
men, some of whom find employment in carrying coolies 
over to Ceylon, and others in ferrving the pilgrims bound 
for the temple at Ratnesvaram from the mainland to the 
island. There are also a large number of coolies, who are 
engaged in hauling vessels through the pass when the wind 
is adverse. 

Pamban boasts of a ruined fort built by the Dutch 
during their occupation of the island, over which I was 
taken by a native guide, who pointed out as objects of in- 
terest some stone cannon-balls, battered dredge- buckets of 
modern construction, and some barrels of fuse lying mould- 
ering from age in what he termed a conji (gruel) house, a 
damp, ill-ventilated building, wherein, at some period at 
which the Public Works Department was engaged on works 
in the island, the recalcitrant sapper used to be placed in 
confinement on a sedative conji diet. 

As regards the food-supply at Pamban, beef and mutton 
are not easily procurable, goat, long-legged and emaciated, 
being the principal animal supplied. Fowls and native 
vegetables can always be obtained in the bazar. The local 
eggs possess a peculiar flavour which is attributed to the 
fact that the fowls feed partly on fish, affording an example 
of polyphagy. One is reminded of • the observation of 
John Hunter, that a species of gull (Larus tridactylus) , 
though commonly feeding on fish, and having its stomach 
adapted to flesh diet, can also live on grain. Another 
species of gull {Larus argentatus) is said to live in the 
Shetland islands on grain in the summer and On fish in 
the winter. The fish supply at Pdmban is very plentiful, 
and a visit to the ill-smelling fish bazar always showed an 
abundance of fish, unappetising cephalopods, and Crustacea 
{Neptunns pelagicus, Scijlla serrata y etc.) which make excel- 
lent curries, for sale. During my visit in 1889 the follow- 
ing food-fishes were obtained either by means of a drag- 
net or from the bazar : — 

SHARKS AND RAYS. 



Zygsena malleus, Shaw. 
Trygon uarnak, Forsk. 



Myliobatis nieuhofii, Bl. Schn. 



PI. V. 




I : ' ■ ,*5"™FM 







m, v 



*'**_* 



87 



BONY FISHES. 



Lates calcarifer, Block. 
Lutjanus rivulatus, Cuv. 8f 

Val. 
Lutjanus roseus, Bay. 
Therapon theraps, Cuv. 8f 

r<d. 

Pristipoma hasta, Block. 
Scolo'psis, sp. 
Gerres oyena, Forslc. 
Drepane punctata, Gmel. 
Scatophagus argus, Block. 
Upeneoides tragula, Richard- 
son. 
Upeneus indicus, Shaw. 
Lethrinus nebulosus, Forsh. 



Teuthis oramin, Guntk* 
Caranx ire, Cuv. & Vol. 
Caranx speciosus, Gmel. 
^Equula edentula, Block. 
Sillago sihama, Forsk. 
Mugil speigleri, Bleeher. 
Cynoglossus macrolepidotus, 

Bleeher. 
Arius thalassinus, Riipp. 
Saurida tumbil, Block. 
Hemiramphus xanthopterus, 

Cuv. &f Val. 
Olupea, sp. 
Pellona leschenaultii, Cuv. fy 

Val 



My head-quarters on the island have been mainly fixed 
at the bungalow of the Setupati of Ramnad, the head of the 
Maravars, on whose behalf I once had to appear in the 
Madura Court, and stand the fire of cross-examination in 
connection with the coinage of his ancestors on the throne 
of the Setupatis (Lords of Adam's bridge). The bungalow 
is situated on the summit of a sand hill near the Pamban 
light-house, and would make an excellent marine biological 
station, easy of access from Madras now that between Nega- 
patam and Pamban there is a service of coasting steamers, 
of light draft so as to be able to get through the shallow 
channel of the Pamban pass. 

Occasionally my camp has been pitched on the shore at 
Kamesvaram close to the spot where the pilgrims, under 
the directions of a priest, go through a course of mysterious 
ceremonies and ablutions, and deposit in the sea pice and 
clay images, the former of which are subsequently searched 
for by the poorer classes. 

As pointed out by Dr. Walther, in the extension of the 
reef band towards the Ramesvaram temple, appears a lime- 
stone consisting entirely of calcareous algae (Lithotham- 
tiium), with a few scattered coral masses. This extensive 
deposit is represented on plate V, the back-ground of which 
is made up of palmyra palms. 

The verandaa of the Raja's bungalow affords a good 
spot for the study of the common animals and birds of the 
island. The former consist mainly of ill-conditioned pariah 
dogs ; goats trying to extract the requisite amount of food 
stuffs for the maintenance of life from dried palmyra leaves 

13 



88 

and the leaves of the umbrella thorn (Acacia planifron*), the 
thorns of which serve as no protection against the attacks 
of these hard-mouthed herbivorous mammals ; and donkeys 
suffering from motor paresis of their hind limbs. The shrill 
voiced palm squirrel and musk shrew (' musk-rat ') infested 
the bungalow, and a friendly mungoose made repeated visits 
when I was at breakfast. Of birds, the splendid but shame- 
less crow (Gorvus splendem or impudlcus) made continual 
raids on my specimens drying in the sun ; and parakeets 
screaming in a neighbouring fig tree, and screech-owls 
making night hideous with their domestic quarrels, proved 
a constant source of irritation. Beneath the Acacia trees 
were large numbers of bleached land-shells, which were 
identified for me by Dr. 0. Boettger as being : — 

Buliminus (Ehachis) punctatus, Ant. 

Buliminus (Mastus) chion, Pf. 

Helix (Eurystoma) vittata, Mull, (small form). 

Helix (Trachia) fallaciosa, Per. 

Hemiplecta lixa, Blf. 

Xesta ceylanica, Pf. 

As regards Xesta ceylanica, Dr. Boettger writes to me : — 
" I am not in possession of original specimens of Blanford's 
species from the foot of the Anaimalai hills, but I cannot 
find a difference in the diagnosis. It is a next ally to H. 
gardneri of Ceylon and H. shiplayi of the jSTilgiris." 

During my stay on the island in 1886 the following 
birds were shot by my shikaree : — 

Tinnunculus alaudarius, iBriss. Kestril. 
Micronisus badius, Gm. Shikra. 
Athene brama, Tern. Spotted owlet. 
Merops viridis, Linn. Common Indian bee-eater. 
Palseornis rosa, Bodd. Rose-headed parrakeet. 
Brachypternus aurantius, Linn. Golden-backed wood- 
pecker. 
Xantholsema indica, Lath. Crimson-breasted barbet. 
Hierococcyx varius, Vahl. Common hawk cuckoo. 
Coccystes melanoleucos, Gm. Pied-crested cuckoo. 
Centropus rufipennis. Common coucal (' crow pheasant '). 
Upupa nigripennis, Gould. Indian hoopoe. 
Lanius erythronotus, Vig. Rufous-backed shrike. 
Lanius vittatus, Vol. Bay-backed shrike. 
Dicrurus ater, Herm. Black drongo. 
Crateropus griseus, Gm. White-headed babbler. 
Pycnonotus luteolus, Less. White-browed bulbul. 
Molpastes hsemorrhous, Gm. Madras red-vented bulbul. 
(Egithina tiphia, Linn. Common iora. 



89 

Copsychus saularis, Linn. Magpie robin. 
Corvus macrorhynchus, Wagl. Jungle crow. 
Corvus splendens, Vieill. Indian house crow. 
Acridotheres tristis, Linn. Common myna. 
Temenuchus pagodarum, Gm. Black-headed myna, 
Turtur suratensis, Gm. Spotted dove. 
Tringa minuta, Leister. Little stint. 
Phcenicopterus roseus, Pallas. Flamingo. 
Xema bruunicephala, Jerdon. Brown- headed gull. 
Seena aurantia, Gray. Large river tern. 

On the sandy shore of Shingle island, one of the islands 
which intervenes between Ramesvaram island and the main- 
land, which is overgrown with long grass reaching in some 
places to a height of six feet, my friend Mr. J. R. Henderson 
saw, in early June, hundreds of a doubtful species of tern (?) 
and a few of the large river tern (Sterna seena). Of these 
the latter laid a single egg in a tunnel excavated among the 
matted roots of the grass, and artfully concealed from view. 
The former laid a single egg in a hole scooped out in the 
sand near the water's edge, where the grass was either very 
short or absent ; and the eggs were easily missed owing to 
the resemblance between their colour and that of the sand, 
which affords an example of the adaptation of the coloring 
of eggs to their natural surroundings for the purpose of con- 
cealment, according to the principle of protective coloration. 
In July, 1888, the shores of Coorisuddy island were in pos- 
session of an army of occupation of flamingoes, which were, 
no doubt, feeding on anuelids and burrowing crabs. 

On Coorisuddy Island the following botanical specimens 
were collected : — 

JErua javanica, Juss. 

Bcerhavia diffusa, Linn. Spreading hog-weed. 

Clerodendron inerme, Gartn. 

Cynodon dactylon, Pers. Hariali grass. 

Dodonaea viscosa, Linn. 

Enicostema littoral e, Blume. The chota chiretta of natives. 

Eugenia jambolana, Lam. Biack plum. 

Euphorbia corrigioloides, Boiss. 

Ipomsea biloba, Forsk. One of the most important sand- 
binding plants. 

Launsea pinnatifida, Cass. A common plant of the sandy 
coasts. 

Oldenlandia umbellata, Linn. Chay-root or Indian madder. 

Pandanus odoratissimus, Willd. Screw-pine. Recommended 
by Cleghorn as a very strong sand-binder. 

Pemphis acidula, Forst. 



90 

Phyllanthus niruri, Linn. 

Salvador a persica, Linn. Tooth -brush tree ; said by Royle 

to be the mustard tree of the Bible. 
Suseda monoica, Farsk. 
Vernonia cinerea. Ash-colored flea-bane. One of the 

commonest Indian weeds. 

The palmyra palm (Borasms flabcWformix) grows very- 
abundantly on Ramesvarani island, and the prepared fibre is 
exported to Ceylon. The method of preparation 4 consists 
in detaching from the trunk of the tree the lower part of 
the leaf which remains clinging to the tree after the leaf 
has been cut off or dried, beating this with a wooden ham- 
mer, and pulling out the fibre which is detached. The best 
trees for the purpose are said to be young ones from 12 to 
15 feet high. The stalks require to be in a certain and parti- 
cular state of decay, in which the fibre when hammered out 
will be of a black colour. The white fibre which is obtained 
from immature stalks is less pliable and more brittle, and 
fetches an inferior price in the market. The chief objection 
to palmyra fibre for brush manufacture is that it lacks 
straightness ; but, if this defect could be overcome, it is 
claimed that palmyra should be found equal to the best 
Brazilian piassava fibre. 

The insect world, apart from the irrepressible ants and 
mosquitoes, is only poorly represented on Ramesvaram 
Island, and of lepidoptera the most conspicuous was Papi- 
lio (Menelaides) hector, flying swift-winged along the shore 
or far out at sea. The following common species of lepi- 
doptera were captured in July, 1889 : — 



Mvcalesis mineus, Linn. 
Melanitis leda, Linn. 
Tarucus plinius, Fabr. 
Catochrysops strabo, Fabr. 
Catopsilia crocale, Cramer. 



Oatopsilia catilla, Cramer. 
Terias hecabe, Linn. 
Papilio hector, Linn. 
Papilio erithonius, Cramer. 



Though I have met with none myself, I have been shown 
a collection of scorpions (Scorpio sivammerdami) which were 
captured at Pamban. 

A big spider belonging to the genus My gale (M. fas- 
data ?) concerning the bird-eating propensities, of which 
genus there has been a long-standing controversy, 5 was 
caught by me when developing photographs in an impro- 

4 Report by the Head Assistant Collector, Madura District, 1892. 
* See Journ., Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. voL i, 1886, p. 28. 



PI. VI. 




z 
< 
m 

< 

DL 

Ll 

'lIJ 

Id 

J 

(0 

CD 


Ll 






91 

vised dark room at the Raja's bungalow. Soon after my 
arrival in Madras, in 1885, a live female My gale was sent 
to me from one of the districts of the Presidency, on the 
charge of killing sheep and goats by poisoning them on the 
muzzle, with a request that I would convict or acquit the 
accused on experimental evidence. A sheep was accord- 
ingly purchased, and the My gale placed in a gauze net 
which was tied over the sheep's muzzle. For a short time 
the Mygale strolled about, showing no indication of poison- 
ous intent, and then — the sheep put out its long tongue 
and swallowed her, bringing the experiment to an abrupt 
termination. 

The shells of Cerithia, which adhere in dense masses to 
the reef rock at Parnban, are collected by poor women, and 
burnt into chunam (lime) in a simple kiln on the shore, 
fed by a fire obtained by burning drift-wood, seeds, cocoa- 
nut husks, etc., which are thrown up on the beach by the 
in-flowing tide. 

Commencing near the Raja's bungalow, and extending 
for some distance along the north coast of the island, is a 
sub-fossil coral reef, which I cannot do better than describe 
in Mr. Bruce Foote's words : 6 " The upraised reef," he 
says, " is a striking feature of the north coast of Ramesva- 
ram Island, and is worthy of much closer study than the 
time at my disposal enabled me to bestow upon it. It 
shows best along the beach beginning a couple of hundred 
yards west of the zemindar's bungalow, where it forms a 
little irregular scarp about a yard or 4 feet high, against 
the roof of which the waves break in rough weather. Of 
its true coral reef origin there can be no doubt, as in many 
places the main mass of the rock consists of great globular 
meandroid corals, or of huge cups of a species of Porites 
which, beyond being bleached by weather action, are very 
slightly altered, and still remain in the position in which, 
they originally grew. The base of the reef is not exposed, 
as far as I could ascertain, not having been sufficiently up- 
raised along the beach ; but in a well-section a little to the 
south of the Grandhamana Parvattam chattram the thick- 
ness of the coral reef exposed above the surface of the water 
is at least 10 feet, and probably much more. The great 
swampy flat forming the northern lobe, as it were, of Rames- 
varam Island, consists, I believe, entirely of this upraised 
reef hidden only by a thin coating of alluvium, or the water 

6 Mem. Geol. Sun\, Ind., vol. xx, 1383. 



92 

of the brackish lagoons which cover the major part of 
the surface, but do not form a continuous sheet of water 
as shown in the map. I came across masses of coral pro- 
truding at intervals through the alluvium in the very centre 
of the flats north-westward of the great sand-hill crowned 
by the chattram just named. The raised reef is very well 
seen to the north-eastward of Ramesvaram town, where it 
forms a miniature cliff from 3 to 4, or possibly 5 feet high, 
and continuing along the coast after the latter turns and 
trends to north-west. Time did not admit of ray actually 
following it up to Pesausee Moondel point, but I went 
to within a mile of the point, and could see no change of 
character of the coast line on examination through a strong 
field-glass. The raised reef shows strongly also along the 
western side of the flat north wards of Ariangundu. The 
sonth side of the reef is, along the north coast, completely 
covered up by the great spreads of blown sands which 
occupy the greater part of the surface of the island. On 
the east side of the island the reef does not extend close up 
to the great temple, but stops short abruptly about 300 
yards to the north-east, and does not re-appear on the coast 
of the bay south of the temple. South of Pamban town 
also there were no signs of any upraised coral, nor could I 
see any indication eastward along the south coast, as far as 
the eye could reach from Coondacaul Moondel point, while 
the great south-east spit terminating at the point called 
Thunnuscody is covered by a double ridge of great blown 
sand-hills. An important series of trial sinkings made by 
the Port officer at Pambau right across the island, from 
north to south, about 2 miles east of the town, in order to 
test the feasibility of the proposed ship canal, did not 
reveal any southerly extension of the raised reef. The 
probability is that it forms a mere narrow strip along 
the beach from Pamban to Ariangundu, but widens out 
thence to the north-eastward to form the northern lobe of 
the island. Parts of the reef lying between collections 
(colonies as it were) of the great globular or cup-shape 
coral masses form a coarse sandstone made up of broken 
coral, shells, and sa.nd (mostly silicious) a typical coral 
sandstone. At the Pamban end of the raised reef it 
shows a slight northerly dip, and masses of dead coral, 
apparently in situ, protrude through the sand below high 
water mark. Reefs of living coral fringe the present coast, 
but these I was unable to examine, so cannot say whether 
the corals now growing there are specifically allied to those 



PI. VII, 




93 

which formed the reef now upraised, but all the mollusca 
and Crustacea I found occurring fossil in the latter belong 
to species now living in the surrounding sea." Mr. Bruce 
Foote writes further : — ie It is quite evident from the occur- 
rence of the old coral reef on Ramesvaram Island that the 
latter must have been upraised several feet within a com- 
paratively recent period, but unfortunately there are no 
data by which to calculate the exact amount of the upheaval. 
The upheaval which affected Ramesvaram island doubtless 
affected the adjoining mainland, and, by upraising the 
coast, exposed the sandstones, which have been described 
above as forming a low wall-like cliff bordering the beach 
as if by a built quay.'"' 

A good specimen of a sandstone quay wall is to be seen 
on the mainland between the great dam and Muntapum ; 
and north of Kilakarai, a town on the coast south-west of 
Ramesvaram Island, a very perfect wall of sandstone extends 
for some distance along the shore, in the loose sand cover- 
ing which many copper coins — Roman, Chola, Pandyan, 
Dutch, Indo-French, etc., have been found in recent 
years. The area which intervenes between the fringing 
coral reef and the sloping shore at Kilakarai, and which is 
uncovered by water at low tide, is covered by an extensive 
green carpet formed by a dense growth of Zoanthi aggluti- 
nated together by damp sand, among which small isolated 
madrepores live, though periodically exposed to the heat of 
the sun. That the coral polyps do not die when thus ex- 
posed is due, as pointed out by Mobius and confirmed by 
Walther, to the fact that they secrete during low ebb-tide a 
great deal of viscid mucus, which covers the whole corallite 
and protects it from drying up. I have frequently noticed 
that the massive blocks of Porites, Cceloria, &c, brought to 
me by the divers were long after their removal from the sea 
covered with a slimy secretion, beneath which the polyps 
were alive, as evidenced by their movements of contraction 
and expansion. 

Opposite the town of Kilakarai there is a wide gap in 
the reef, through which sailing boats of light draft can pass 
into the shallow harbour within the reef, on which the force 
of the leaves is broken. The calcareous alga, Halimeda, 
opuntia, forms a thick deposit on the sea bottom, in shallow 
water, among the coral patches off Kilakarai. This species 
is, Mr. Gr. Murray writes to me, " one of the most abundant 
siphoneous algae in all warm seas Atlantic, Mediterranean, 
Indian Ocean. It is green when growing, and turns white 



94 

when cast up. I have found it in the West Indies forming 
a thick layer at tide-mark, cast up in bays into which a 
strong current runs." 

Possessing only very superficial geological knowledge, 
I am unable to deal satisfactorily with the sub-fossil reef 
at Pamban, which has, however, more recently than Mr. 
Bruce Fooie's report, received full justice from the pen 
of Dr. Waltlier. 7 Commencing, as already stated, near the 
Raja's bungalow, it forms a wall exposed to a height of 3 or 
4 feet above the sandy shore in which it is imbedded, and 
extending, almost without interruption, for a distance of a 
quarter of a mile, after which it becomes covered over with 
loose sand, and is exposed only at intervals. The main mass 
of this wall, as also of the big detached coral blocks which 
intervene between it and the sea, and are washed by high 
tides, is built up of enormous blocks of Porites, one of 
which, isolated from neighbouring blocks, has a diameter 
of 12 feet. That these blocks are imbedded as they grew 
is shown not only by their reef-like appearance, but also by 
their upright position, the vertical columns of many of the 
blocks bearing testimony to the fact that they have not 
been cast up by the waves at random, like the big coral 
fragments which are exposed at low tide, and lie irregularly 
in all possible unnatural positions. The calices on the 
surface of the fossil corals are either perfectly distinct over 
large areas, so as to render their identity certain, or, espe- 
cially in the case of the blocks which are still exposed to 
wave action, worn away, or concealed by a crystalline 
incrustation. Imbedded in cavities in the Porites, once 
bored and occupied by the living mollusc animal, are 
immense numbers of the shells of the lithodomous Veneriqris 
carditoides, which abounds on the living reef at the present 
day. The Porites are frequently capped by Astroeans, which 
are also found firmly fixed to their lateral aspect. Less 
commonly they are incrusted with Mceandrinas (Cceloria), 
which, like the Astroeans, also form solid isolated blocks, 
but of far smaller size than the Porites. The blocks are, 
for the most part, covered on their upper surface hy sl crust 
of thick compact laminated sand-rock, imbedded within 
which are the shells of mollusca — Cardium, Area, Turbo, 
Cerithium, Spondylus, Corbula, Trochus, Cyprcea, &c. I 

7 Vide Verhandlungen der Oeselhchaft fur Erdkunde zu Berlin, 1889, 
No. 7, translated in Rec. Geol. Surv. Tnd., vol. xxiii, pt. 3, 1890 ; and 
Petermann , s Mitteilungen aus Justus Perthes' Qeographischer Anstalt 
Ergiinzungsheft, No. 102, 1891. 



95 

have also found several carapaces of fossil decapod Crustacea, 
whose genus I was unable to identify. At the commence- 
ment of the reef, i.e., at the end nearest to the bungalow, 
the sand-rock is arranged in a succession of layers with a 
dip seawards, and forms an incrusting layer about 8 inches 
thick. A little further on the reef has a terraced appear- 
ance ; an upper terrace being formed by sand-rock horizon- 
tally stratified, exposed to a height of 18 inches, and 
supported by underlying Porites, Astroea, Cceloria, and 
Turbinaria ; and a lower terrace formed by a flat-topped 
mass of Porites, about 9 yards in length, covered with loose 
sand. Not the least interesting feature of the coral wall is 
the presence of a bank of madrepores, extending over a 
length of 8 yards at a higher level than the Porites, and 
evidently still placed as they originally grew, their radiating 
branches spreading outwards from the base, and forming a 
broad flat surface,, which affords support to a thick super- 
jacent layer of consolidated sand-rock. The maximum 
height of the madrepores above the .loose shore sand is 18 
inches, and they clearly form a portion of a bank, such as 
may be seen spreading over considerable areas on the living 
reef on a calm day. 

As one looks out to sea from the Pamban bungalow at 
low water on a breezy day, three distinct zones can be 
clearly distinguished, viz. : — (1) commencing about three- 
quarters of a mile from the shore, and extending to the 
horizon, clear blue water separated by a sharp line of 
demarcation from (2) a zone discolored by sediment in 
suspension carried by the current through the Pamban 
pass. This zone, in which the living corals flourish though 
washed by a current, sometimes running at the rate of 7 to 
8 knots per hour, to which they are exposed, terminates at 
the sharply denned land face of the reef, 8 where the corals, 
constantly bathed by water and never exposed above the 
surface, act as a natural breakwater which- breaks the force 
of the waves, so that, at high tide, the shallow water be- 
tween the reef and the shore is smooth. The land face of 



8 In the third edition of Darwin's Structure and Distribution of Coral 
Reefs, the reefs of the Madras Coast of the Gulf of Manaar and the north- 
ern part of Ceylon are not indicated on the map (in which by the way 
an active volcano is indicated near Negapatam) showing the distribution 
of coral reefs, because as Professor Bonny says (p. 247) : — "The sea off 
the northern part of Ceylon is exceedingly shallow, and, therefore, I have 
not colored the reefs which partially fringe portions of the shores and the 
adjoining islets, as well as the Indian promontory of Madura." 

14 



96 

the reef is made up almost entirely of madrepores, amid a per- 
fect forest of arborescent sea weeds and fleshy alcyonians 
which, as one rows over the reef on a bright still morning, 
can be easily recognised as large snow-white patches. 
Other genera — Pontes, Cceloria, Turbinaria, etc. — occur in 
deeper water. (3) There is a zone, about 40 yards in 
breadth, between the reef and the shore, which is covered 
by water at high tide, but completely exposed at low tide. 
It is made up of dead coral blocks, fragments, and debris, 
among which branches of worn madrepores are most conspi- 
cuous, broken off or rolled along from the reef. These 
blocks and fragments are covered with low-growing clumps 
of brown and green sea weeds, and enclose shallow pools in 
which ' coral fishes 3 of brilliant hue may be seen, and 
colonies of Cerithia leaving in their wake a characteristic 
track. Many of the larger coral blocks are extensively 
worn by the process of solution, or eroded by boring 
mollusca and other animals. Among the crevices of the 
eroded corals various Crustacea (Gonodactylus, Pilumnus, 
&c), find a home ; and crawling on their surface, which is 
frequently covered by erect or sessile encrusting sponges, 
or hidden beneath them, annelids (Amphinome, Nereis, &c), 
and bright- colored planarians may be found. 

From the Pamban beach the sea bottom slopes very gra- 
dually to a depth of 20 to 26 feet at a distance of three- 
quarters of a mile from the shore. Between the Kathoo 
Vallimooni reef, marked on the survey chart as being 
* partially dry at low water spring tides,' and the spit of 
mainland which terminates at Point Bamen a boat passage 
has been carved out by natural processes. North of Rames- 
Varam island the living coral reef formation is stated by the 
local fishermen, in answer to independent inquiries by 
Mr. Bruce Foote and myself, to extend only as far as 
Pillay Mudum, 7 miles south-east of the Vigai river, which, 
though easily crossed on foot in the dry season, is in high 
flood during the monsoon, and, for about a fortnight in the 
year, impassable even on a raft. 

Piled up over a limited area at the base of the fossil reef 
were masses and fragments of pumice 9 encrusted with 

9 " The fragments of pumiee thrown up into the ocean during far dis- 
tant sub-marine eruptions, or washed down from volcanic lands, are at all 
times to be found floating about the surface of the sea, and there being 
cast upon the newly formed islet produce by their disintegration the 
clayey materials for the formation of a soil, the red earth of coral islands." 
Murray, Royal Institution, March 16, 1888. 



97 

Pohjzoa, Ghanicp, tubes of tubicolous worms, Balani, young 
pearl-oysters, &c. In all probability these fragments were, 
in the first instance, discharged from the volcano of Kra- 
katoa during the great eruption of 1883. One curious 
result of that eruption was that, in the district of Charingin, 
which was depopulated by the tidal wave during the 
outburst, tigers increased so enormously in number that the 
Government reward for killing them had been fixed at 200 
guilders each. 

Washed on shore by the waves, protecting the upper 
surface of the dead corals, or brought up for me from the 
sea bottom by my divers, were nodular calcareous algae, 
which, from microscopical examination, I find to be identi- 
cal with those which were dredged off the town of Negombo 
in Ceylon by Captain Cawne Warren, and reported on by 
Mr. H. J. Carter. 10 " The specimens," says that authority, 
" consist of calcareous nodules of different sizes, which may 
be said to origiuate, in the first instance, in the agglutina- 
tion of a little sea bottom by some organism into a trans- 
portable mass which, increasing after the same manner as 
it is currented about, may finally attain almost unlimited 
dimensions. They are, therefore, compounded of all sorts of 
invertebrate animals, whose embryoes, swimming about in 
every direction, find them, although still free and detached, 
of sufficient weight and solidity to offer a convenient posi- 
tion for development, and hence the number of species in 

and about them Perhaps no family of organisms 

has entered into their composition or increased their solidity 
more than calcareous alga? (Ifelobesice) which, in successively 
laminated or nulliporoid growths, have rendered these 
nodules almost solid throughout, or covered with short, 

thick, nulliporiform processes Next to 

the part which the Melobesice have taken in their formation 
may be mentioned the sessile Foraminifera, and these have, 
in turn, been overgrown, in many instances, by Polt/zoa." 

Specimens have been picked up on shore both by Mr. 
Bruce Foote and myself of a curious body, the nature of 
which has given rise to some discussion, and is still and 
likely to remain sub judice. One of them was exhibited at 
the Linnean Society, and Dr. Anderson and Mr. Dendy 
were iuclined to regard it as possibly the consolidated roe 
of a fish ; whereas Professor C. Stewart was of opinion that 

10 Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., June, 1880. 



98 

• it was a vegetable structure ; his opinion being based on 
the examination of microscopical preparations which he 
demonstrated to me when I was in Europe some time ago. • 
Among other specimens collected on the Pamban beach 
I may mention the complex tubular skeletons of the cha> 
topod Filograna, and large blocks of drift wood bored by the 
I mollusca Teredo and Parapholas, the latter of which had 
destroyed the bottom of the local port gig. 

The Indian fin- whale (Balcenoptera indica), concerning 
which I overheard a visitor to the Madras museum explain- 
ing to his son that it uses the whale-bone as a tooth-brush, 
has been known to accompany vessels in the gulf cf 
Manaar, and I have seen one close to a steamer in which I 
was rounding Cape Comorin. It is related that, some years 
ago, the schooner c Abdul Raman/ which was at anchor close 
to Pamban, was suddenly released from her moorings, and 
towed out to sea to a distance of several miles by some invi- 
sible agent. A few days afterwards the carcase of a whale 
was cast on shore, and the theory was that this whale was 
the cause of the involuntary cruise, it having been tempted 
out of curiosity to examine the ship, in whose grapnel it is 
supposed to have been caught, and to have taken the 
steamer in tow until it liberated itself. In support of this 
theory, the ribs and vertebras of a whale were shown to me 
in the grounds of the mission bungalow. 

The phytophagous Sirenian, Hallcore dugong (the du- 
gong), which is said u to be found in the salt-water inlets of 
South Malabar, feeding on the vegetable matter about the 
rocks and basking and sleeping in the morning sun, is 
according to Emerson Tennent 12 attracted in numbers to the 
inlet from the Bay of Calpentyn on the west coast of Ceylon 
to Adam's Bridge by the still water and the abundance of 
marine algae in this part of the Gulf of Manaar. It is of an 
extremely shy disposition, and I have never seen it myself, 
though I have heard of dead carcases being thrown up on 
the Painban beach, and living specimens being caught in the 
fishing nets. One was, in fact, caught, together with a 
young one, the day before my arrival at Pamban in 1 889, 
and promptly sold for food, as it is considered a great deli- 
cacy. There is a tradition among the natives that a box of 
money was found in the stomach of a dugong which was 
cut up in the Pamban bazar some years ago ; and an official 

u Jerdcm, Mammals of India. u Ceylon, vol. ii, 1860. 






is now always invited to be present at the examination of 
the stomach contents, so that the possessors of the carcase 
may not be punished under the Treasure Trove Act for 
concealing treasure. But the stomach contents invariably 
prove to be green sea-grasses (phanerogams) which are 
very abundant in the shallows of one to three feet in depth 
on the Ceylon coast of the gulf of Manaar, and almost en- 
tirely exclude the sea weeds (algse). The fat of the dugong 
is believed to be efficacious in the treatment of dysentery, 
and is administered in the form of sweetmeats, or used 
instead of ghi (clarified butter) in the preparation of food. 
The skeleton of a female dugong in the Madras museum 
shows, encased in the upper jaw, the f unctionless teeth, the 
blunt points of which are, during life, covered by a fleshy 
lip forming a snout. The female is described by Tennent 
(op. cit.) wheu suckling her young, as holdiug it to her 
breast with one flipper, while swimming with the other, 
holding the heads of both above water, and, when dis- 
turbed, suddenly diving and displaying her fish-like tail. 

The divers brought me from one of the neighbouring 
islands a single specimen of the hawk's bill turtle (Chelo)ie 
imhricata), the source of tortoise-shell, and the edible turtle 
(Ghelo)ie my das). The latter I have seen carrying the cirr- 
hiped Chelonolna testudinaria 13 and the pearl-oyster attached 
by its byssus to the carapace. It is very abundant in the 
shallow water near the sandy shores of the islands in the 
vicinity of Ramesvaram, on which the female lays her eggs. 
A large specimen, whose skeleton has been preserved, was 
purchased for eight annas on the understanding that the 
vendor should have the flesh as a perquisite. The process 
of removal of the edible 'portions of fat, flesh, and viscera 
was not a pleasant operation to witness. The victim was 
placed on its back, and secured by ropes which did not pre- 
vent demonstrative flapping of its fins during the operation. 
The operation, skilfully performed with a carving knife, of 
removal of the breast-plate displayed the internal organs, 
which were removed together with their investing fat. The 
pulsations of the heart, which was removed last of all, the 
snapping of the jaws, the plaintive expression of the eyes, 
and general indications of disapproval formed a ghastly 
spectacle not easily to be forgotten. The flesh of the edible 

13 I have also seen parasitic pedunculated cirrhipeds attached to the 
skin of a sea-snake (Hydrophis), the gills, of Neptunus pelagicus, and the 
antennaB of Pantdirus dasypus. 



100 

turtle is described by Tennent as being sold piecemeal in 
the market place at Jaffna, while the animal is still alive, 
each customer being served with any part selected which is 
cut off and sold by weight ; and Darwin, referring to the 
gigantic tortoise of the Galapagos Archipelago, says that, 
when a tortoise is caught, a slit is made in the skin near 
the tail, so as to see whether the fact under the dorsal plate 
is thick. If it is not, the animal is liberated, and it is said 
to soon recover from the minor surgical operation. 

A single specimen of the fresh-water tortoise (Niroria 
trijuga), which I recently heard referred to as a " trot-ice ", 
found at the foot of a tree on the sandy soil outside the 
town of Pamban, was brought to me for sale. The land 
snakes of the island are represented, so far as I know, from 
personal observation, by Lycodon aulicus and Tropidonotus 
stolatus, of which the latter bit a friend's native servant 
in the foot, causing great torture until he was assured 
that it was not a toxicophidian. Batraehians I have not 
seen on the island, but the existence of Rana hexadactyla, 
which is, I am told, eaten in the Indo-French possessions, 
was made evident by the nocturnal concerts in a tank near 
the bungalow. Frogs are eaten by some of the lowest caste 
natives in India, and by the Burmese. In the bazars of 
Burma boiled frogs are exposed for sale among other articles 
of food. I have myself seen dried frogs hung up for sale 
in the Cochin bazar. 

One of the edible holothurians 14 (trepavgs or beches- 
de-mer) is very abundant in the mud on the south shore at 
Pamban, and in the vicinity of Ramesvaram, at both which 
places it is prepared for exportation to Penang and Singa- 
pore. The process of preparation, which is not an appetis- 
ing one to watch, is as follows : — The holothurians are 
collected as they lie in the mud at low water, and placed in 
a cauldron which is heated by a charcoal fire. As the tem- 
perature rises in the cauldron, the still living animals com- 
mit suicide by the convenient process of ejecting their 
digestive apparatus, &c, and become reduced to empty 
leathery sacs which, by loss of water consequent on the 
temperature to which they are exposed, shrivel consider- 
ably. At the end of twenty minutes or half an hour the 
boiling process is stopped, and the shrivelled animals are 
buried in the sand until the following morning, when the 

u Holothuria marmorato. 



101 

boiling process is repeated. Finally, they are arranged 
according to their size, and are ready for shipment. 

Trepangs, of which various kinds are recognised in 
commerce, are highly esteemed as an article of food by 
Chinese and Japanese epicures, being made into a thick 
gelatinous soup. They are said to be a favorite article of 
diet among the colonists of Manilla, and to make a capital 
dish when cooked by a European chef. 

As regards the question 15 whether holothurians live on 
living coral or obtain nutriment from swallowing the sand 
and detrital material, the two most abundant species in the 
Gulf of Manaar (H. atra and H. marmorata) live, not on 
the reef, but on the muddy bottom between the reef and 
the shore, which is frequently uncovered at low tide. From 
repeated examination of the contents of their alimentary 
canal, I have been unable to find any evidence that they 
have been feeding on living coral, the swallowed materials 
consisting, for the most part, of sand, coral debris, small 
mollusca, alcyonian spicules, and sea weeds. 



15 Vide Darwin, Coral Reefs, 3rd edition, 1889, p. 20. 



102 



II.-LITTOEAL FAUNA OF THE GULF 
OF MANAAR. 



The gulf of Manaar, bounded on the north by Adam's 
bridge, intervenes between the west coast of Ceylon and 
the south-east coast of the Madras Presidency. The 
greatest depth yet found, and recorded by Dr. A. Alcock, 
when Surgeon-Naturalist to the Marine Survey Steamei 
'Investigator/ in the more open part of the gulf, is 1,466 
fathoms (temperature 34*8° Fahr.), and the bottom appears 
to be green mud throughout. 

It is earnestly to be hoped that both the littoral and 
deep-sea fauna of the gulf will some day receive, through 
the medium of a biological station worked on lines similar 
to those of the Naples and Plymouth stations, the exhaus- 
tive investigation which they richly deserve. The time at 
my own disposal, and the diffuse work of M useum direction, 
which necessitates residence iu Madras during the greater 
part of the year, have so far permitted only an occasional 
flying visit, such as renders any attempt at exhaustive 
observations wholly out of the question, and I %m conse- 
quently only able to place on record lists, with some 
details, of those species which have been obtained by my- 
self from Ramesvaram and the neighbouring islands, from 
Tuticorin, and, in the case of the Crustacea and mollusca, 
from the Ceylon pearl banks and their vicinity. 

My hearty thanks are due for the great assistance which 
they have rendered in working out my collections, to Mr. 
A. Dendy (sponges), Dr. Ortmann (corals), Dr. Selenka 
(gephyrea), Professor Jeffrey Bell (echinoderms), Mr. 
J. R. Henderson (crustacea), Dr. Von Martens and 
Mr. E. A. Smith (mollusca) and Mr. R. Kirkpatrick 
(bryozoa). 

POEIFEKA. 

The sponges recorded below were collected by me either 
in the neighbourhood, of Ramesvaram island or at Tuticorin, 
and sent to Mr. A. Dendy, at that time on the staff of the 
British Museum, Natural History, by whom they were de- 
scribed in detail in the Annals and Magazine of Natural 
History, September, 1887, and February, 1889. 



103 

As regards the first collection, which was made at Rame's- 
varam, Mr. Dendy wrote as follows : — " The collection is of 
exceptional interest, owing to the fact that it is the first 
which has been obtained from this particular locality. 
Indeed our knowledge of the sponge-fauna of the entire In- 
dian ocean is extremely deficient. This deficiency is almost 
certainly due to want of investigation rather than to any 
actual scarcity of sponges. Mr. Eidley and I have already 
pointed out, in our report on the Monaxonida collected by 
H.M.S. Challenger, that 'this little-known field will pro- 
bably yield a rich harvest to whoever has the good luck 
to thoroughly investigate it ;' and this statement is amply 
borne out by Mr. Thurston's researches. 

" The best known locality for sponges in the Indian Ocean 
is undoubtedly Ceylon. Bowerbank, Gray, and Carter have 
all written upon the sponge-fauna of this particular district, 
and the sponge-fauna of Madras, in so far as is evidenced 
by the material at my disposal, bears a striking resemblance 
to it. Thus, out of the ten determinable species from 
Madras, four, viz., Halichondria panicea (a cosmopolitan 
species), Axinella dormant, Hircinia clathrata, and Hircinia 
vallate/,, have already been recorded from the neighbourhood 
of Ceylc. 

u Th^re can be no doubt that the present collection was 
obtained in shallow or moderately shallow water, although 
there is no record of the depth. Species with a strong 
development of spongin in the skeleton-fibre predominate, 
as might have been safely predicted from the climatic 
conditions of the locality." 

The majority of the sponges, as will be seen, belong to 
the monaxonida, which " comprise by far the most commonly 
met with and abundant of all sponges. They occur in 
greater or less profusion in all parts of the world, but are 
more especially shallow-water forms. They may be col- 
lected between tide-marks almost anywhere." 1€ 

None of the gulf of Manaar sponges, which I have 
collected from between tide-marks up to 1 1 fathoms, are of 
any commercial value. 17 The colours of many of them are 
very bright, but soon fade or change when the sponge is 
dried or immersed in alcohoL 

16 Challenger Report on Monaxonida. 

B A single small specimen of the commercial sponge, Spongia officinalis,, 
was collected by Dr. Anderson in the Mergui Archipelago. 

15 



104 

The following list includes only a portion of my collec- 
tion, many of the sponges still awaiting identification. Of 
the thirty-one species recorded by Mr. Dend}^ eighteen 
(indicated by an asterisk) were described as new species, 
and two new varieties of previously recorded species, 
viz., Pachychalina multiformis and Ciocalypta tyleri., were 
described. 

• TETEACTINELLIDA. 

* Tetilla hirsuta, Bendy. Tuticorin. Pale yellow with darker 

centre. 

MONAXONIDA. 

Halichondria panicea, Johnston, var. Eamesvaram. Light 

pink variety of the British species. 
Petrosia testudinaria, Lamarck, sp. Tuticorin pearl banks. 

Pink, cup-shaped. 

* Eeniera madrepora, Bendy. Tuticorin. Pink. 

* Pachychalina multiformis, Lendenfeld, sp. (var, manaarensis, 

Bendy). Tuticorin. Pale 
violet, or light pink. 

* ,, delicatula, Bendy. Tuticorin. Colour not recorded. 

* ,, spinilamella, Bendy. Tuticorin. Pale yellow. 
Siphonochalina communis, Carter, sp. Tuticorin. Bluish brown. 

* Gelliodes carnosa, Bendy. Tuticorin. Grey. 

Iotrochota baculifera, Ridley (var. nabellata, Bendy). Eames- 

varam and Tuticorin. Dark 
purple. 

Tedania digitata, Schmidt, sp. Eamesvaram. Eed. 

* Olathria indica, Bendy. Tuticorin. Frequently incrusting 

pearl oyster. Bright red. 

* ,, corallitincta, Bendy. Tuticorin. Coral-red. 

* Ehaphidophlus spiculosus, Bendy. Tuticorin. Vermilion. 

* Hymeniacidon ? fcetida, Bendy. Tuticorin. Grey ; smells 

like valerian when dry. 

* Phakellia ridleyi, Bendy. Eamesvaram. Eed. 
Ciocalvpta tyleri, Bowerlank (var. manaarensis). Tuticorin. 

White. ' 

* Acanthella carteri, Bendy. Tuticorin. Orange. 

* Auletta aurantiaca, Bendy. Tuticorin. Orange-red. 
Axinella donnani, Bowerlanh. Eamesvaram and Tuticorin 

pearl banks. Orange. 

* ,, labyrinthica, Bendy. Tuticorin. Eed. 

* ,, tubulata, sp. koiverbank. Eamesvaram and Tuti- 

corin pearl banks. Inhabited by 
commensal tubicolous oligochcete 
worms. Pinkish-red or red. 



105 

* Raspailia fruticosa, Bendy. Ramesvaram. Pink. 

* ,, thurstoni, Bendy. Ramesvaram. Dry shore speci- 

mens. 

* Suberites inconstans, Bendy. Between tide-marks. Pamban. 

,, a var. mceandrina. Brown. Canal system of var. 

mceandrina inhabited by ophiu- 

roids. 
„ /? var. digitata. 
,, y var. globosa. 

CERATOSA. 

* Spongionella nigra, Bendy. Tuticorin. Black. 
Hippospongia, sp. Ramesvaram. 

Hircinia clathrata, Carter. Ramesvaram and Tuticorin. Canal 
system occupied by a cirrhiped crustacean, 
B alarms (A casta) spongites. 

* ,, vallata, Bendy. Ramesvaram. 

Aplysina purpurea, Carter. Tuticorin. Grey (in spirit, or 
when dry) ; dark purple. 
,, fusca, Carter. Tuticorin. 

(LELENTERATA. 

OCTACTINIA. 

Alcyonium digitulatum, Klunz. Ramesvaram. 
,, gyrosum, Klunz. Ramesvaram. 

„ polydactylum, Ehr. (var. mamillifera, Klunz). 

Ramesvaram. 
Sarcophytum pauciflorum, Ehr. Ramesvaram. 
Echinogorgia pseudosasappo, Koll. Ramesvaram ; also from 

the Madras harbour ; studded, 
as figured by Esper, with Avi- 
on] 33, and ophiuroids. 
,, sasappo, Koll. {Esper sp.). Ramesvaram. 

,, cerea, Koll. Ramesvaram; also from the Madras 

harbour. 
,, furfuracea, Koll {Esper, sp.). Ramesvaram; also 

from the Madras harbour. 
Plexaura flabellum, Esper. Horny axes cast on shore at Rames- 
varam and Tuticorin. 
Juncella juncea, Pallas. Ramesvaram and Tuticorin (near 

shore and on pearl banks). 
Gorgonia (Leptogorgia) miniacea, M. Edw. {Esper, sp.). Rames- 
varam and Tuticorin. 
Gorgonella umbella, Esper. Tuticorin. 

Suberogorgia suberosa, Pallas. Ramesvaram and Tuticorin. 
Coralhum nobile, Pallas. Ramesvaram. 



106 

Pteroides javaDicum, Blocker. Rdmesvaram. 

,, esperi, Her Hot a. Eamesvaram and Tuticoiin. 
Virgularia juncea, Esper. Baiuesvaram. 
Lituaria phalloides, Pallas. Rdrnesvarain. 

Some of the alcyonia formed large, flat, encrusting 
masses. Entwining their arms round the stems and 
branches of Juncella juncea, Suberogorgia suberosa, etc., were 
delicate ophiuroids (OpJiiothix, etc.), and, clinging to the 
gorgoniae were the crinoids, Antcdon reynaudi, Antcdon 
palmata, and Actinometra parvicirra. Living on the stems 
of the red-coloured gorgonias I several times found the 
mollusc Ovulum (Radius) formosus, the colour of whose shell 
corresponded with that of the gorgonise. 

A specimen of Suberogorgia suberosa, obtained at Mauri- 
tius in 90 fathoms, is described by Bidley (Ann. Mag. Nat. 
Mist., 1882, p. 132) as " an immense dry specimen 3 feet 5 
inches high, and 18 inches in maximum lateral diameter. 
The colour is pale wainscot to pale rufous-brown ; the 
branches are given off mostly at angles of 30. The colour, 
very different from the deep brick-red usual in this species, 
may perhaps be due to the manner of drying." The height 
of a specimen in the Madras museum from Tuticorin, 
where the pale and brick-red varieties were living side by 
side, is 4 feet 8 inches, and the maximum lateral diameter 
2 feet 2 inches. The specimens of Gorgonia nmiiacea were 
characterised by the almost constant presence, on the stems 
or at their bifurcation, of diseased excrescences — the so- 
called galls — occupied by a cirrhiped crustacean, and 
perforated by an orifice, through which currents of water 
for the respiration of the crustacean were admitted into the 
cavity of the excrescence, through which the stream passed 
in a constant direction. The association of similar excre- 
scences on stony corals of the genera Sideropora, Seriatopora, 
and Focillopora, is discussed in detail by Semper, and I 
have myself seen a specimen of the cup-shaped Turbinaria 
crater (preserved in the Madras museum), the interior 
surface of which presents a mammillated appearance caused 
by hundreds of lialani. Several fragments of Corallum 
nobile, the red coral of commerce, have been picked up by 
me on the Pamban beach, and the native divers tell me 
that they occasionally come across much larger pieces. 
Concerning this species Eidley says 19 : — u Dr. Lankester 

18 Animal Life. Internat. Science Ser., vol. xxxi. 

19 Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. xi, 1883. 



107 

(Uses of Animals to Man), besides the Persian Gulf, gives 
Ceylon as a locality for this, the precious red coral of the 
Mediterranean and Cape Verd Islands, and Dr. Ondaatje 
has shown me decorticated specimens from Ceylon, which 
make the identity of the species probable. It is note- 
worthy that a fossil form is recorded from Indian deposits 
(Duncan), which, as I have given reasons for thinking 
(Proc, Zool. Soc, 1882, p. 334), seems probably identified 
with this species, Seguenza having found it fossil in India, 
still bearing a slight red tint. ' An officer/ in a work 
entitled Ceylon (London, 8vo., 1876) mentions small frag- 
ments of red coral similar to that of the Mediterranean as 
having been found at the water's edge between Galle and 
Colombo, and states it to have been referred to by the Portu- 
guese." It must be borne in mind, however, that the red 
coral of commerce is imported to the east in large quan- 
tities to be worked up into necklaces and other ornaments 
for natives ; and it is possible that the small fragments, 
picked up from time to time on the beach, may be only 
adventitious products, and not a natural product of the 
neighbouring sea. The condition of the Indian trade in red 
coral has been said 20 to be an accurate gauge of the condi- 
tion of the agricultural classes in the North- Western Pro- 
vinces, Rajputana and Sub -Himalayan tracts, as the bulk 
of the imports is brought by these classes to be worn as 
necklaces, the coral beads, when a man is prosperous, alter- 
nating with gold beads. The value of the red coral im- 
ported into India in the years 1889-92 was Rx. 140,194 ; 
E-s. 1,68,716 and Us. l,o8,112, respectively. 

VlRGULAEIA JUNCEA. 21 

My attention was directed to an article in the National 
Rfvievi, February, 1890, entitled ' Out of the Depths/ by 
the Honorable A. E. Gathorne-Hardy, who there enters into 
a discussion of the habits of the genus Virgularia. The 
points at issue are two-fold : — 

(1) Do the animals stand up vertically with their bulb 
planted in the mud ? 

(2) Can the animals pull themselves in with force so as 
to nearly or quite disappear ? 



20 J. E. O'Conor. Review of Indian Trade, 1882-83. 

21 This note was originally published in the Proc. Zool. Soc, Lond., 
June 17, 1890. 



108 

In the first edition of my Notes on Pearl and Chank 
Fisheries, I said with reference to specimens of Virgu- 
laria : •* The Sea-pen, Virgularia jancea, accords in its habits 
with another species, V. patagonica, which is described by- 
Darwin (Journal of Researches,) as being seen projecting 
like stubble with the truncate end upwards, a few inches 
above the surface of the muddy sand. When touched or 
pulled, they suddenly draw themselves in with force so as 
to nearly or quite disappear." 

The specimens of V. juncea were obtained by one of my 
Labbi divers in shallow water opposite the Kothanda Raman 
kovil (temple) on Ramesvaram island in July, 1888. His 
attention was attracted by what he thought was a stick 
projecting a few inches above the sandy bottom, and he 
broke it off and gave it to one of my native collectors, who 
was with him and recognized it as being the broken piece 
of an animal. The divers then hunted for and secured 
numerous other specimens, all of which had their terminal 
bulbs in a perfect condition. The largest specimen was 16 
inches in length, and tapered towards the upper end, but 
the extreme tip was wanting. The diver described the 
animals as sticking straight up in the sand, and said that, 
as soon as he touched them, they went deeper and deeper 
down in the sand, and sometimes fixed themselves so 
firmly that he could only secure them by digging them out 
with a spade. 

Though I was not present at the capture of the speci- 
mens, I had no reason to discredit the evidence of the diver 
who was a keen observer, wholly unacquainted with the 
English language, and who had certainly never seen or heard 
of the Journal of Researches. 



HEXACTINIA. 

ACTINIARIA. 

Various undetermined species of sea-anemone are found, 
either burrowing in the sandy shore between tide-marks, 
or attached to, or living within cavities excavated in coral 
blocks. A single specimen of Palythoa tuberculosa, recorded 
by Esper from Tranquebar on the east coast of the Madras 
Presidency, was brought up by the divers at Paruban, 
encrusting the upper surface of a dead coral. Various 
species of Zoanthus, single or colonial, live among the corals 



109 

on the reefs. At both Tuticorin and Pamban I have seve- 
ral times seen specimens of Sphenopus marsupialis, which 
was collected originally by Johns, a Moravian Missionary, 
at Tranquebar, aud was during the cyclone of 1886 cast 
on shore in very large numbers at Madras, where it was col- 
lected for me by one of my native taxidermists, who re- 
ported to me that he found it ' grazing' on the beach. 
The outer surface of this species is made up of sand grains 
glued together by a viscid secretion and imbedded in a 
cartilaginous case. Specimens figured in the Proceedings 
of the Zoological Society, February 14, 1867, were collected 
at Pulo Faya in the China seas. 

MADEEPOEARIA. 
1. Madreporaria Aporosa. 

Fam. Turbinolida. 
Paracyathus profundus, Duncan. (Fauna Mergui). 

Fam. Pocilloporida. 

Pocillopora bulbosa, Ehrbg. 
„ verrucosa, Ell. Sol. 

Fam. Astrosidce. 

Galaxea bougainvillei, Blott. 

,, ellisi, M. Ed. and Haime. 
Symphyllia radians, Val. 
Echinopora aspera, Ell. Sol. 
,, flexuosa, Verritt. 

,, lamellosa, Esper. 

Leptoria gracilis, Dana. var. tenuis, Dana. 
Cceloria arabica, Khg. 

,, ,, var. subdentata, M. Ed. and Haime. 

,, ,, var. leptotricha, Ehrbg. ( = C. bottai, M. Ed. 

and Haime.) 
Hydnophora contignatio, Fbrsh. ( =H. Ehrenbergi, M. Ed. and 

Haime.) 
,, lobata, Lmh. 

,, microconus, Lmh. 

Favia clouei, Val. 

,, denticulata, Ell. Sol. 
,, cf. tubulifera, Khg. 
Goniastrsea halicora, Ehrbg. 
,, retiformis, Lmk. 



110 

Prionastrsea tesserifera, Ehrbg. 
Plesiastraea, cf. versipora, Lmk. 
Phymastrsea, n. sp., Ortm. 

„ profundior, M. Ed. and Haime. 

,, valenciennesi, M. Ed. and Haime. 

Cyphastrsea mulleri, M. Ed. and Haime. 

,, serailia, Forsk. 

Merulina ampliata, Ehrbg. 

II. MaDREPORARIA FUNGIDA. 

Fain. Plesiofungidae. 

Siderastrtea savignyana, M. Ed. and Haime. Identical with 

S. sphceroidalis, Ortm. (steinkor, v. 
Ceylon), which, is only another form 
of growth. 

Tichoseris obtusata, Quelch. 

Fam. Cycloserida. 
Oycloseris cyclolites, Lmh. 

III. Madreporaria Perforata. 

Fam. Eupsammida. 

Ooenopsammia ehrenbergiana, M. Ed. and Haime. 
Heteropsammia cochlea, Spengler. 

Fam. Madreporida. 

Madrepora corymbosa, Lmh. 

,, erythraea, Khg. 

„ formosa, Dana. 

,, multiformis, Ortm. 

,, plantaginea, Lmk. 

,, cf. secunda, Dana. 

Turbinaria crater, Pall. 

,, ,, var. quincuncialis. Ortm. 

„ mesenterina, Lmk. var. cinerascens, Ell. Sol. 

,, peltata, Esp. 
Astreopora pnlvinaria, Lmk. 
Montipora exserta, Quelch. 
,, foliosa, Pall. 

,, spongiosa, Ehrbg. 

,, stylosa, Ehrbg. 



Ill 

Fam. Poritida. 

Porites columnaris, Kltg. 

,, lutea, M. Ed. and Haime. 

,, solida, For sic. 
Goniopora pedunculata, Quoy audi Gaim. 

The majority of these stony corals belong to the class 
of " reef corals," but a few species are included, e.g., Para- 
cyathus profundus } Cycloseris ci/clolites, and Heteropsammia 
cochlea, which were dredged in deep water, where the reef- 
builders were absent, and the young Fungice, which were 
dredged from the muddy bottom of the Pamban Pass. All 
the specimens of Heteropsammia, cochlea exhibited a hole 
bored by a sipunculid worm (Aspidosiphon) , 22 which is always 
found living within this coral. It is difficult, as Semper 
points out, 23 to understand what advantage each animal can 
derive from their association ; yet some must exist, for a 
coral is never found without a worm. 

The fact is drawn attention to by Dr. Martin Duncan, 
in his report 24 on the madreporaria of the Mergui Archi- 
pelago collected by Dr. Anderson, as being very remark- 
able that " the coral-fauna of Ceylon, so far as it is known 
from Mr. Stuart 0, Ridley's researches, does not contain a 
single Mergui species. The number of genera common to 
the two areas is, however, great, and many species are 
closely allied." A comparison of the list of species recorded 
above from the Indian side of the gulf of Manaar with those 
of Dr. Duncan (Mergui), 25 Dr. Ortmann 26 and Mr. Eidley 27 
(Ceylon) shows, as might be expected, that some of the 
species are common to the Indian coast of the gulf of 
Manaar and Ceylon, and others to the Indian coast of the 
gulf of Manaar and the Mergui archipelago. 

I have found no representative of the hydrocorallinae on 
the coral reefs, but Millepora dichotoma has been recorded 
by Ridley (loc. cit) from Ceylon. 

The genus Eeliopora is apparently not represented on 
the living reef, but a single specimen of Eeliopora edward- 
sana has been described from the cretaceous deposits of the 



22 See note on commensal sipnnculid inhabiting the genus Heterop« 
sammia, by G. H. Fowler, Q.J.M.S., No. CXX, Feb. 1890, pp. 412-13. 

23 Animal Life. Internat. Science Ser., 1881. 

24 Journ. Linn. Soc, Nov. 13, 1886. 

25 Faun. Mergui. Archipelago, vol. i, 1889. 

26 Zoologisch Jahrhuch, Spengel, vol. iv, 1889. 

27 Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 5, vpl. xi, 1883. 

16 



112 

Trichinopoly district of the Madras Presidency, concerning 
the coral-beds of which Stoliczka writes: — 28 " The condi- 
tions of the deposits were not so quiet that we could expect 
to find any of the alcyonaria or of the malacodermata pre- 
served, but the sclerodermata or madreporaria are repre- 
sented by fifty-seven species, namely, fifty-three belonging 
to the aporosa, three to the perforata, and one to the tabu- 
lata Looking at the whole fauna we see the reef- 
building Astrceidce, Siylimdab, and Thamnastrceidw much 
exceeding the other families in numbers of species, as well 
as in frequency of occurrence of specimens. Coral reefs 
appear to have been of considerable extent, particularly 
along the old shores within the Ootatoor group ; in the two 
other groups they were much more local." 

The method employed by me for the preservation of 
corals (i.e., the skeletons) which I reserve for exhibition, is 
to expose them to the action of the sun and ants, which 
remove a large amount of the animal matter, and send them 
in boxes, surrounded by paper and tightly packed in rice- 
husk, by native sailing boat to Madras. But, however 
great the care which is taken, it generally happens that 
some of the corals become covered with mould during the 
voyage. The rice-husk, which is usually found clinging to 
the surface of the corals, is removed with a syringe, and the 
corals, after being submitted to repeated washings with 
fresh- water, are finally dried in the sun. In no case are- they 
submitted to the action of corrosive alkali solutions. It has 
been objected, with regard to the preservation of corals by 
exposing them for some time to the action of rain or running 
water, that the finest details of the skeleton are liable to be 
dissolved away to some extent by the action of the carbonic 
acid in the water. But I found, on my visit to Ramesvaram 
island in 1889, when enormous numbers of a species of 
beetle were busily engaged in heaping up finely divided 
sand between the branches of my rejected madrepores, that 
the structural details of various delicate corals (Astrosopora, 
Cyphastroea, etc.), which I had left discarded on the sand 
in the grounds of the bungalow twelve months previously, 
were to no appreciable extent damaged for purposes of 
identification, though they had, in the interval, been freely 
exposed to the action of a heavy monsoon and a cyclone. 
I am told that the corals rejected by me, as being too 

28 Palaeont. Ind. Cretaceous Fauna of Southern India. 



113 

numerous for transport to Madras, have been a source of 
income to my divers, who offer them for sale to stray visitors 
to the island. 

HYDEOIDA. 

Plumularidce . 

Halicornaria bipinnata. Muttuvartu par, Ceylon. 

,, insignis, Allman. Muttuwartu par, Ceylon. 

,, saccaria, Allman. Muttuwartu par, Ceylon. 



Campanularia juncea, Allman. Abundant on east Cheval 
par, Ceylon. 

ECHINODERMATA. 

A report on a collection of echinoderms, which I made 
in the years 1886-87 at Ramesvaram island and Tuticorin, 
by Prof. F. Jeffrey Bell, was published in the Proceedings 
of the Zoological Society, June 19, 1888, wherein the 
writer states that " I may be allowed to remind the student 
of the recent appearance of a memoir on the echinoderm- 
fauna of the Island of Ceylon. 29 Shortly after the dis- 
tribution of that memoir my respected correspondent, 
M. de Loriol, was kind enough to write and tell me of four 
other species of Echinoids, all of which had been collected at 
Aripo by M. Alois Humbert." Of these four species (Phyl- 
lacanthus annulifera, Temnopleurus reynaudi, Clypeaster 
humilis, andLaganumdepressum), G. humilis and L. dej)res- 
siim have been found by me off the Indian coast of the Gulf 
of Kanaar. 

Only two new species have been discovered among my 
collections, viz., an ophiuroid, Pectinura intermedia, and an 
asteroid, Oreaster (P entaceros) thurstoni, of which the latter 
is a very common shallow-water species, very variable both 
in its characters and colour. Since the publication of Prof. 
Bell's report several species, not recorded there, have been 
found in my subsequent visits to the gulf of Manaar, bring- 
ing the total number up to sixty- one. 

The majority of the specimens were found in shallow 
water near the shore, but some, e.g., Oreaster (Pentaceros) 
lincki, Linckia Icevigata, Colochirus quadrangular is, and 
Astrophyton clavatum (of which a single imperfect specimen 

29 Scientific Transactions of the Royal Dublin Society (2), III, p. 643 et seq. 



114 

was found within the cup of a Turlnnaria) were brought up 
by divers from the pearl banks in ten to eleven fathoms. 

Of the six species of echinoid which are described by 
Agassiz, in his t Revision of the Echini ' as being charac- 
teristic of his Indo-African Region, which includes the 
Madras coast, five, viz., Echinodiscus auritus and biforis, 
Salmacis sit lea ta and bicolor, and Echinolampus ovijormis, 
are very abundant in the gulf of Manaar. But I have 
not as yet found the sixth species, Echinodiscus Icevis. 

The fossil echinodermata, as recorded in the Palceonto- 
logia indica from the cretaceous deposits in South India, 
are represented by two or three species of crinoidea 
(Pentacrinus and Marsupites), a single species of asteroid 
(Ophiura? cuniiffei), and thirty-eight species of echinoidea, 
of which the genera Cidaris and Hemiaster are most largely 
represented. 

CRINOIDEA. 

Antedon cumingi. Tuticorin. 

,, palmata, Mull. sp. Pamban and Tuticorin. In 

crevices of coral or on gorgonice. 
,, reynaudi, Mull. sp. Pamban. On stems of gor- 
gonice. 
Actinometra parvicirra, Mull. sp. Tuticorin. On stems of 
gorgonicb. 

ASTEROIDEA. 

Astropecten hemprichii, M. Tr. Pamban. A specimen in 

the Madras Museum has 
swallowed a mollusc, Ceri- 
thium. 
„ polyacanthus, M. Tr. Pamban. 

Luidia hardwickii, ( Gray), Perrier. Pamban. 

,, maculata, M. Tr. Pamban. 
Goniodiscus granulif erus, ( Gray), Perrier. Pamban. 
Anthenea acuta, Perrier. Pamban. 

,, pentagonula, (Lmk.), Perrier. Pamban. 
Pentaceros muricatus, Linch. Tuticorin pearl banks. 
,, superbus, Mobius. sp. Tuticorin. 
,, thurstoni, Bell. sp. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Asterodiscus elegans, Gray. Tuticorin. 
Asterina cepheus, {M. Tr.), V. Mart. Pamban. 
Linckia miliaris, (Limit), V. Mart. Tuticorin pearl banks. 
Nardoa novae caledonioe, Perrier. sp. Tuticorin. 
Echinaster purpureus, (Gray), Bell. Tuticorin. 



115 



OPHIUKOIDEA. 

Pectinura gorgonia, Lfk. Pamban. 

,, intermedia, Bell. Pamban. 

,, infernalis, Lth. Tuticorin. 

Ophiactis savignii, Aud. Pamban. In canal system of sponge 

Suberites inconstam. 
Ophionereis dubia, Lym. Tuticorin. 
Ophiocoma erinaceus, M. Tr. Pamban. 
Ophiothrix longipeda, If. Tr. Pamban 

,, nereidina, M. Tr. Pamban. 

,, aspidota, If. Tr. Pamban. 

Ophiomaza cacaotica, Lym. Pamban. 
Astrophyton clavatum, Lym. Tuticorin pearl banks. 

ECHINOIDEA. 

Phyllaoantkus baculosa, A. Ag. Tuticorin. 
Echinometra lucunter, LesJce. Tuticorin. 
Stomopneustes variolaris, Lmk. Pamban. 
Pseudoboletia macidata, Tuticorin. 
Temnopleurus toreumaticus, Leske. Pamban. 
Salmacis bicolor, Ag. Tuticorin pearl banks. 

,, dussumieri, Ag. Pamban. Common in fishing 

nets at Madras. 
,, sulcata, Ag. Tuticorin. 
Echinus atigulosus, Ag. Pamban. (Spines quite white). 

Toxophneustes pileolus, Ag. Tuticorin. — 

Fibularia volva, Ag. Pamban. 

Clypeaster humilis, Ag. Tuticorin pearl banks. 

Laganum decagonale, Less. Pamban. 

,, depressum, Less. Pamban. 
Echinodiscus biforis, Ag. Tuticorin. 

,, auritus, Leske. Pamban. 

Echinolampas oviformis, Gray. Pamban. 
Lovenia elongata, Gray. Pamban. 
Ehinobrissus pyramidalis, Ag. Pamban. 
Brissus unicolor, Leslie. Pamban. 
Metalia sternalis, Lmlc. Tuticorin. 

HOLOTHUEOIDEA. 

Cucumaria semperi, Bell. Pamban. 
Colochirus quadrangularis, Less. Tuticorin pearl banks. 
Actinocucumis difficilis, Bell. Pamban. 
Haplodactyla australis, Semper. Tuticorin. 
Holothuria atra, Jciger, Pamban. 

,, marmorata, Jager. Pamban (edible trepang). 

,, monacaria, Less. Pamban. 

„ vagabunda. SeknJca. Tuticorin. 



116 

Syria pta recta, Semper ? Pamban. 

Thyone sacellus, Silenka. A specimen in the Madras museuem 

shows the tentacles, teeth, etc., 
which were ejected during life. 

GEPHYREA. 

I. GEPHYREA CHjETIFERA. 

Thalassema formulosum. 

II. Gephyrea ACH^ETA. 

Phascolosoma pellucidum, Keferstein. 
DendroStoma signifer, Selenka and de Man. 
Sipunculus robustus, Keferstein. 

Of these four species, dredged off Ram^svaram island, only 
Dendrostoma signifer was abundant. 

CRUSTACEA. 

As regards the decapod and storaatopod Crustacea 
Mr. J. R. Henderson writes to me : — " This collection is 
one of the most important which has ever been formed on 
the Indian coast. It contains about a hundred and sixty 
species, not more than ten or twelve of which are new to 
science ; but a number of rare or little-known forms are 
present, and the geographical distribution of most of these 
has been greatly extended by their discovery on the South 
Indian shores. Upwards of three hundred species of 
decapod and stomatopod Crustacea have been recorded 
from the Bay of Bengal, which may be conveniently held 
to include the coasts from Ceylon on the one side to Singa- 
pore on the other, along with the numerous groups of 
islands situated within this area. Yet, with the exception 
of a small collection from Madras report on by Prof. Heller 
in the Crustacea of the Reise der Novara, our knowledge 
of the species which inhabit the Indian coast proper is 
limited to a few scattered papers, and to those forms re- 
corded by the older writers under the somewhat vague 
localisation ' Indian Seas.' 

" The crustacean fauna of the Gulf of Manaar shows, as 
might be expected, a considerable proportion of coral reef 
species — widely distributed forms, which occur in suitable 
localities throughout the vast Indo- Pacific region/' 

An account of the decapod and stomatopod Crustacea 
collected by myself off both the Madras and Ceylon coasts 



117 

of the gulf of Manaar has been included by Mr. Henderson 
in his recent ' Contribution to Indian Carcinology/ 30 to which 
I am indebted for the following list of species, which in- 
cludes several species (indicated by an asterisk) recorded 
as new. 

Pamban and Tuticorin are on the western or Madras 
side of the gulf, and Silavaturai and the Cheval and Muttu- 
wartu pars (pearl banks) on the eastern or Ceylon side of 
the gulf. 

DECAPODA. 

Brachyura. 

Oncinopus aranea, Be Uaan. Muttuwartu. 
Huenia Proteus, Be Uaan. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Simocarcinus simplex (Dana.) Tuticorin. 

Mencethius monoceros (Latr.) Pamban, Tuticorin, Muttu- 
wartu, Silavaturai. 
Doclea hybrida (Fabr) Pamban. 
Stenocionops cervicornis, (Herbst.) Tuticorin. 
Hyastenus Pleione (Herbst.) Silavaturai. 

,, Hilgendorfi, Be Man. Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval. 

Chlorinoides Coppingeri, Has well. Muttuwartu. 
Naxia hirta (A. Milne Edw.) Tuticorin. 
Schizophrys aspera {Milne Edw.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Micippa Philyra (Herbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, Thalia (Herbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
Tylocarcinus styx (Herbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
Lambrus contrarius (Herbst.) Tuticorin. 

,. affinis, A. Milne Edw. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, longispinus, Miers. Tuticorin. 

,, Holdsworthi, Miers. Tuticorin. 

,, hoplonotus, Ad & White. Muttuwartu. 
Zebrida Adamsii, White. Tuticorin. 
Paratymolus sexspinosus, Miers. Tuticorin. 
Atergatis integerrimus (Lmk.). Pamban, Tuticorin. 

„ floridus (Humph.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, lcevigatus, A. Milne Edw. Tuticorin. 
Carpilodes tristis, Bana. Muttuwartu. 

,, margaritatus, A. Milne Edw. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Liomera punctata [Milne Edw.). Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
Lophactsea granulosa (Rilpp.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, semigranulosa (Heller.) Pamban, Muttuwartu. 
* ,, fissa. Henderson. Tuticorin. 
Acteea granulata (Aud.) Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval. 

30 Trans. Linn. Soo. Zoology, vol. v, part 10, 1893. 



118 

Actsea calculosa (Milne Edw.) Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
,, nodulosa ( White). Tuticorin. 

* ,, Peronii (Milne Edw.) var. squamosa. Muttuwartu. 
,, rufopunctata (Milne Edw.) Tuticorin, Cheval. 

,, Ruppellii (Krauss.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

* Hypocoelus rugosus, Henderson. Tuticorin. 
Euxanthus melissa (Herbst.) Tuticorin. 
Polycremnus ochtodes, Herbst. Muttuwartu. 

* Halimede Thurstoni, Henderson. Tuticorin. 
Cycloxanthus lineatus, A. Milne Edw. Tuticorin. 
Lophozozymus Dodone (Eerbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin, 

IVfuttuwartu. 
„ cristatus, A. Milne Edw. Muttuwartu. 

Cnlorodius niger (Forsk.) Pamban, Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
Chlorodopsis spinipes (Heller.) Muttuwartu. 
Leptodius exaratus, (Milne Edw.) Pamban, Tuticorin, 

Silavaturai. 
Etisus loevimanus, Randall. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Phymodius monticulosus (Dana.) Tuticorin. 
Cymo Andreossyi (And.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Menippe Rumphii (Fabr. ) Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Actumnus setif er (Be Haan. ) Muttuwartu. 

* ,, verrucosus, Henderson. Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
Pilumnus vespertilio (Fabr. ) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, labyrinthicus Miers. Pamban. 
Trapezia Cymodoce (Eerbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 

,, rufopunctata (Herbst.) Tuticorin. 
Tetralia glsibeYTima, (Herbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
Eriphia loevimana Latr. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Neptunus pelagicus (Linn.) Tuticorin. 

,, gladiator (Fabr.) Pamban. 

,, sanguinolentus (Herbst.) Pamban. 

,, armatus, A. Milne Edw. Pamban. 

„ Sieboldi, A. Milne Edw. Muttuwartu. 
Thalamita prymna (Herbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, admete, (Herbst.) Pamban. 

„ Savignyi A. Milne Edw. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

„ sima, Milne Edw. Tuticorin. 

,, integra, Dana. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, sexlobata, Miers. Tuticorin. 
Goniosoma cruciferum (Fabr.) Tuticorin. 

„ natator (Herbst.) Pamban. 

,, annulatum (Fabr.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, Hellerii, A. Milne Edw. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

„ orientale (Dana.) Tuticorin. 
Lissocarcinus lcevis, Miers. Tuticorin. 
Kraussia nitida, Stm. Tuticorin. 
Cardisoma carnifex, (Herbst.) Tuticorin. 
Ocypoda ceratophthalma (Pallas.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 



119 

Ocypoda niacrocera, Milne Ediv. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, platytarsis, Milne Edw. Pamban. 

,, cordimana, Latr. Tuticorin. 
Gelasimus annulipes, Latr. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Macrophthalmus depressus, {Riipp.) Pamban. 
Scopimera myctiroides {Milne Edw.) Tuticorin. 
Metograpsus messor {Forslc.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Grapsus strigosus {Herbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, maculatus {Catesby.) Tuticorin. 
Leiolophus planissimus {Herbst.) Pamban. 
Sesarma quadrata {Fabr.) Tuticorin. 
Xenopbthalmus pinnotheroides, White. Pamban. 
Elamene trancata, A. Milne Edw. Silavaturai. 
Calappa bepatica {Linn.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, gallus {Herbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

Matuta victrix, Fair. Tuticorin. 

„ Miersii, Henderson. Tuticorin. 
Leucosia craniolaris {Linn.) Pamban, Muttuwartu. 
Pseudopbilyra Melita, Be Man. Muttuwartu. 
Philyra scabriuscula {Fabr.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, Adamsii, Bell. Pamban, Silavaturai. 

,, platycheira, Be Haan. Silavaturai. 

„ globosa {Fabr.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Myra fugax {Fabr.) Pamban. 
Ebalia Pfefferi, Be Man. Muttuwartu. 

* ,, fallax, Henderson, Muttuwartu. 
Nursia plicata {Herbst.) Pamban. 

,, abbreviata, Bell. Pamban, Silavaturai. 
Dorippe dorsipes»(Zm?a.) Pamban, Silavaturai. 
,, faccbino {Herbst.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

Anomura. 

Dromidia unidentata {Riipp.) Tuticorin. 

,, australiensis, Haswell. Silavaturai. 
Cryptodromia pentagonalis, Hilg. Silavaturai, Muttuwartu. 
Pseudodromia integrifrons, Henderson. Tuticorin. 

* Raninoides serratifrons, Henderson. Cbeval. 
Hippa asiatica, Milne Edw. Pamban. 
Albunea symnista {Linn.) Pamban. 

* ,, Thurstoni, Henderson. Cbeval. 

Coenobita rugosa, Milne Edw. Pamban, Tuticorin, Silavaturai. 
Diogenes Diogenes {Herhst.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, merguiensis, Be Man. Muttuwartu. 

,, miles {Herbst.) Pamban, Silavaturai. 

,, custos {Fabr.) Pamban. 

* ,, planimanus, Henderson. Pamban. 

,, avarus, Heller. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

* „ costatus, Henderson. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

17 



120 

Pagurus punctulatus (Oliv.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, def onnis, Milne Edw. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, varipes, Heller. Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
,, setifer, Milne Edw. Tuticorin. 

* Troglopagurus manaarensis, Henderson. Tuticorin, Muttu- 

wartu. 
Aniculus ani cuius (Fahr.) Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 

,, strigatus (Herbst.) Tuticorin. 

Clibanarius paclavensis, Be Man. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, arethusa, Be Man. Pamban, Muttuwartu. 

* Enpagurus zebra, Henderson. Muttuwartu 
Petrolisthes dentatus (Milne Edw.) Pamban, Tuticorin, Muttu- 
wartu. 

,, B^scii {And.) Pamban, Muttuwartu. 

,, militaris (Heller ) Pamban, Cheval, Muttuwartu. 
Porcellanella triloba, White. Pamban. 
Polyonyx obesulus, Miers. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, tuberculosus. Be Man, Pamban, Cheval. 
Galatliea elegans, White. Tuticorin. 

,, spinosirostris, Bana. Muttuwartu. 

Munida spinulifera, Miers. Muttuwaitu. 

Macruha. 

Oebiopsis Darwinii, Miers. Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval. 

Thenus orientalis {Fair.) Muttuwartu. 

Panulirus dasypus (Latr.) Silavaturai. 

Alpheus E^lwardsii (Aud ) Pamban, Tut'corin, Muttuwartu. 

,, hippothoe, Be Man. Pamban. 

,, frontalis, Say. Tuticorin. 

,, lcevis, Randall. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

„ Neptunus, Bana, Pamban. 
Phynchocinetes rugulosus, Stm. Tuticorin 
Pontonia tridacnse, Bana. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

STOMATOPODA. 

Lysiosquilla maculata, (Fahr.) Tuticorin. 
Squilla nepa, Latr. Tuticorin. 

,, affinis, BeHho 1 d. Tuticorin. 

,, scorpio, Latr, Tuticorin. 

., raphidea, Fair. Pamban. 
Pseudosquilla ciliata (Fabr.) Pamban. 

Gonodactylus jsflaber, BrooJcs. Pamban, Tuticorin, Silavaturai. 
,, Demanii, Henderson. Pamban. 

CAPEELLID^. 

Several specimens of Paradentella hidentata, Mayer, 
were found adhering to the stems of Juncella juncea on the 



121 

Pamban reef. A male was sent to the Naples zoological 
station for identification by Dr. Paul Mayer, who reported 
it as being 1 m.m. longer than the longest specimen in his 
possession. 

The type specimens, described by Dr. Mayer, 30 were 
collected by the Swedish Naturalist, K. Fristedt at Pamban, 
together with Metaprotella hasicelliana, Mayer ; Metaprotella 
excentrica, Mayer ; and Metaprotella problematical Mayer, in 
1 — 4 fathoms on bryozoa and sponges. 

MOLLUSCA. 

The following list of mollusca, which I have collected 
off both the Indian and Ceylon coast of the gulf of Manaar, 
includes (1) those which were collected on the beach, all 
shells which were worn and bore evidence of having been 
rolled in from a distance being rejected, and only those 
which appeared to be fresh being retained ; (2) those 
which were obtained by dredgiug, and straining the con- 
tents of the dredge through sieves ; (3) those which were 
cellected on the coral reefs on clear days or at low tide ; 
(4) those which were brought up from the pearl banks and 
other localities by native divers ; (5) those which were 
obtained by examining the sweepings from the kottus 
(oyster-sheds) during the pearl fishery ; (6) those which 
were found attached to algae and gorgonias, or obtained 
by breaking up coral blocks with a crowbar, and extracting 
the shells which were buried in cavities bored by the 
animals during life. 

Pamban, Kilakarai, and Tuticorin are on the western or 
Madras side of the gulf of Manaar ; Dutch bay, Silavaturai, 
and the Muttuwartu, Cheval and Karaitivu pars (pearl- 
banks) are on the eastern or Ceylon side of the gulf. 

CEPHALOPODA. 

Spirula Peronii, Lmk. Pamban, Kilakarai, Dutch Bay, 

Karaitivu. 
Nautilus pompilius, Linn, Pamban. 

PTEROPODA. 
Styliola acicula. Pelagic over coral reefs. 



*> Faun und Flor. Golf, v, Neapel. Mon. XVII, pp. 29, 30. 



122 



HETEROPODA. 

Ianthina affinis, Rv. Muttuwartu. 

„ africana, Rv. "Very abundant, coincidently with 
Physalia, one evening at Kilakarai. 

GASTROPODA. 

Murex anguliferus. Lmk. Tuticorin. 

„ ,, var. ponderosus. Muttuwartu. 

„ badius (?), Rv. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, haustellum, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, palmiferus, Sow. Karaifcivu. 
,, tenuispina, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, ternispina, Lmk. Pamban. 
Fusus colus, Linn. Pamban. 

,, tuberculatus, Lmk. Famban. 
Melongena vespertilio, Lmk. Pamban. 
Pollia rubiginosa, Rv. Pamban. 
Tritonidea melanostoma, Tuticorin, Cheval. 

,, undosa, Linn. Pamban. 
Pleurotoma tigrina, Lmk. Pamban. 

,, (Drillia) crenularis, Lmk. Pamban. 

„ ( ,, ) inconstans, Smith. Pamban. 

,, (Surcula) javana, de Boiss. Pamban. 

Daphnella varicifera, Pease. Muttuwartu. 
Cythara pallida, Rv. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Clathurella lemniscata, JVevill. Pamban. 

,, rubroguttata, LL. Ad. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

Mangelia Fairbanki, JVevill. Dutch Bay. 
Triton chlorostomus, Lmk. Pamban. 
„ cingulatus,. Pf. Tuticorin, 
„ retusus, Lmk. Tuticorin. 
,, (Persona) cancellinus, de Boiss. Tuticorin. 
Tritonium cingulatum, Lmk. Pamban, Cheval. 
,, lampas, Linn. Pamban. 
,, pileare, Linn. Pamban. 
Ranella foliata, Brod. Tuticorin. 

,, granifera, Lmk. Pamban, Cheval. 
,, pusilla, Brod. Muttuwartu. 
,, tuberculata, Brod. Pamban. 
Hindsia acuminata, Rv. Tuticorin. 
Bullia melanoides, Desh. Pamban. 
Nassa canaliculata, Lmk. Pamban. 
coronula, A. Ad. Karaitivu. 
cribraria, Marrat. Tuticorin. 
delicata, Rv. Muttuwartu. 
fasciata, Quoy & Gaim. Tuticorin. 
margin ulata, Lmk. Pamban, Tuticorin, Dutch Bay. 



123 

Nassa marginulata var. minor. Pamban. 

„ ,, var. conoidalis. Pamban, Kilakarai, 

Karaitivu. 
,, ornata, Kien. Pamban. 
,, suturalis, Lmh. Pamban. 

,, thersites, Brug. Pamban, Tuticorin, Karaitivu. 
„ (Niotha) albescens, Dunk. Pamban. 
,, ( ,, ) australis, A. Ad. Pamban. 
Eburna spirata, Lmh. Pamban 

,, zeylanica, Lmh. Pamban. 
Purpura carinifera, Lmh. Pamban. 
,, Rudolphi, Lmh. Pamban. 
Ricinula undata, Chemn. Pamban, Kilakarai. 
Olivaticillaria nebulosa, Lmh. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Oliva Candida, Lmh. P&mban. 
,, gibbosa, Born. Pamban. 
,, ispidula, Linn* Pamban. 
Ancillaria fulva, Swains. Muttuwartu. 

,, oryza, Rv. Tuticorin, Kilakarai. 
,, (Sparella) acuminata, Sow. Pamban. 
,, ( ,, ) ampla, Gm. Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval. 
,, ( ,, ) cinnamonea, Lmh. Tuticorin. 
Pasciolaria filamentosa, Chemn. Pamban. 

,, trapezium, Linn. Pamban. 

Tudicla spirillus, Lmk. Pamban. 
Latirus microstomus, Kol. Muttuwartu. 
,, pulcbellus, Rv. Karaitivu. 
,, turritus, Gm. Karaitivu. 
Turbinella cornigera, Lmk. Tuticorin. 

,, pyrum, Lmh. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, rapa, Lmh. Tuticorin. 

Voluta interpuncta, Martyn. Tuticorin. 
Cymbium indicum, Gm. Pamban. 
Mitra dublicata, Rv. Pamban. 
,, rubricata, Rv. Pamban. 
,, zebuensis, Rv. Muttuwartu. 
Strigatella litterata, Lmh. Pamban. 
Marginella angustata, Sow. Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval, 

Karaitivu. 
,, dens, Rv, Tuticorin, Dutch. Bay, Muttuwartu. 

,, navicella, Rv. Muttuwartu. 

Erato angistoma, Rv. Tuticorin. 
Zafra atrata, Gould. Pamban. 
Columbella flavida, Lmh. Tuticorin, Taraitivu. 

,, mindorensis, Rv. Pamban, Kilakarai, Tuticorin, 

Karaitivu. 
,, pusilla, Dunk. Pamban. 

„ undata, Pamban, 



124 

Columbella versicolor, Sow. Pamban, Kilakarai 3 Tuticorin, 

Karaitivu, Muttuwartu. 
„ (Anachis) terpsichore, Sow. Pamban, Tuticorin, 

Karaitivu. 
Engina trifasciata, Rv. Pamban. 

,, zonata, Rv. Pamban. 
Harpa ventricosa, Lmk. Pamban. 
Cassis areola, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, canaliculata, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, (Bezoardica) glauca, Brag. Pamban. 
Dolium fasciatum, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, maculatum, LmTc. Pamban. 
,, olearium, Linn. Pamban. 
Ficula laevigata, Rv. Pamban. 

,, reticulata, Lmk. Pamban. 
Pyrula cochlidium, Linn. Pamban, Cheval. 
Natica ala papilionis, Chemn. Tuticorin. 
,, columnaris, Reel. Muttuwartu. 
,, lineata, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, maculosa, Lmk. Pamban, Dutch Bay. 
,, maroccana, Chemn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, pavimentum, Rv. Cheval. 
,, pulicaris, Phil. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, (Mamilla) melanostoma, Lmk. Tuticorin. 
,, (Neverita) didyma, Bolt. Pamban, Muttuwartu. 
,, (Ruma) melanostoma, Lmk. Cheval, Muttuwartu. 
Sigaretus neritoideus, Linn. Pamban. 
Naticina papilla, Chemn. Pamban. 
Scalaria aculeata, Sow. Pamban. 

,, decussata, Pease. Pamban. 
Terebra duplicata, Linn, (var Eeeve). Cheval. 

,, myuros, Lmk. Pamban. 
Eingicula dolearis (?) Gould. Tuticorin. ■ 
,, propinquans, Hinds. Pamban. 
Alaba rectangularis, Cramer. Pamban. 
Solarium lsevigatum, Lmk. Pamban. 
„ perspectivum, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, (Torinia) cselata, Hinds. Pamban, Muttuwartu 
„, (Torinia) fulvum, Binds. Pamban. 
Conus amadis, Chemn. Pamban. 
„ dispar, Sow. Pamban. 
,, figulinus, Linn Pamban. 
,, geographus, Linn. Tuticorin. 
,, glans, Hwass. Pamban. 
,, hebreeus, Linn. Pamban. 
,, litteratus, Linn. Tuticorin. 
,, longurionis, Kien. Tuticorin. 
,, marmoreus, Linn. Pamban. 
,, peplum, Chemn. Muttuwartu. 



125 

Conus piperatus, Dilhvyn. Pamban. 
„ striatus, Linn. Tuticorin. 
,, textile, Linn. Tuticorin. 
Strombus canarium, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, marginatus, Linn. Pamban. 
,, urceus, Linn. (var. plicatus). Lmh. Pamban. 
Pteroiera aurantia, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, lambis, Linn. Pamban. 
,, scorpius, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin, 
Cjprrea arabica, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, ,, ,, var. Smith. Tuticorin. 

„ caput serpentis, Linn. Tuticorin. 
,, carneola, Linn. Tuticorin. 
,, caurica, Linn. Pamban. 
„ errones, Linn. Pamban. 
,, nirundo, Gm. Pamban. 
,, lentiginosa, Gray. Pamban. 
,, lynx, Linn. Pamban. 
„ mauritiana, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, moneta, Linn. Pamban. 
,, oc^llata Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, onyx, Linn. Pamban. 
,, talpa, Linn. Tuticorin. 
,, tigris, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, vitellus, Linn. Tuticorin. 
,, (Trivia) oryza, Lmk. Karaitivu. 
,, ( ,, ) producta, Gash. Tuticorin. 
Ovulum (Radius) arcuatum, Rv. Clieval. 
,, ( ,, ) birostre, Linn. Pamban. 
,, ( ,, ) formicarium, Sow. Tuticorin. 
,, ( ,, ) formosus, Ad. & Rv. Pamban. 
,, ( ,, ) volva, Linn. Pamban. 
Cancellaria costifera, Sow. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, elegans, Sow. Pamban. 

,, serrata, Bv. Dutch. Bay. 

Cerithium breviculum, Sow. Pamban. 
,, corallinum, Defr. Tuticorin. 
„ morus, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, purpurascens, Sow. Tuticorin. 
,, rugosum, Wood. Tuticorin. 
,, splendens, Sow. Pamban. 
„ (Aluco) obeliscus, Brug Pamban, Karaitivu. 
„ (Bittium) lineatumn, Bunk. Muttuwartu. 
,, (Tympanotomus) alatum, Pamban. 
->•> ( » ) fluviatile, Botitz. Pamban. 

Colina pupreformis, A Ad. Pamban, Kilakarai, Tuticorin. 
Triforis cingulatus, Bvnk. Tuticorin, Dutch Bay. 
,, concinna, Hindu. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
„ violacea, Quoy & Gam. Muttuwartu. 



126 

Potamides cingulatus, Gm. Tuticorin. 

,, ( Pyrazus) palustris, Linn. Pamban. 
Melania collistricta, Rv. Tuticorin. 

,, tuberculata, Mull. Tuticorin. 
Littorina glabrata, Phil. Pamban. 
,, intermedia, Phil. Pamban. 
,, scabra, Linn, Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, undulata, Gray. Pamban. 
Planaxis pyramidalis, Gm. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, . suturalis, Smith. Muttuwartu. 
Pissoina antoni, Schum. Pamban. 

,, media, Schum. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, planaxoides, Pamban. 
,, pusilla, Rv. Muttuwartu. 

,, (Phosinella) clathrata, A. Ad. Pdmban, Tuticorin. 
Turritella attenuata, Rv. Pamban. 

,, duplicata, Linn. Pamban. 
Siliquaria eneaustica, Morch. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

,, lactea, LmJc. Pamban. 
Calyptroea neptuni, Schum. Pamban. 

Trochita (Galerus) extinctorium, Sow. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Crepidula (Siphopatella) walchi, Herm. Pamban, Tuticorin, 

Dutch. Bay. 
CapuluSj sp. Pamban. 

Hipponyx acutus, Quoy & Gaim. Tuticorin. 
Vanicora granulosa, Reel. Pamban. 

,, Quoyiana, A. Ad. Pamban. 
Nerita albicilla, Linn. Pamban. 
,, chamseleon, Linn. Pamban. 
,, maura, Brod. Pamban. 
,, plicata, Linn. Pamban. 
,, Eumpnii, Reel. Pamban. 
,, sqamulata, Le Guill. Pamban. 
Neritina (Clithon) ualanensis, Less. Pamban. 

,, (Smaragdia) rangiana, Reel. Pamban, Tuticorin, 

Dutch Bay. 
Phasianella nivosa, Rv. Kilakarai, Tuticorin, 
Turbo petholatus, Linn. Pamban. 

,, (Senectus) margaritaceus, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Calcar columellare, Phil. Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval. 
Liotia cidaris, Rv. Pdmban. 
Eotella costata, Vol. Pamban. 

,, vestiaria, Sow. Tuticorin. 
Delphinula atrata, Chemn. Pamban. 

,, distorta, Lmk. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Trochus niloticus, Linn. Pamban. 

,, (Clanculus) clanguloides, Wood. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

„ (Euchelus) atratus, Gm.. Pamban. 

„ ( „ ) circulatus, Anton. Pamban, Dutch Bay. 



127 



Trochus (EucheLus) tricarinatus, Lmlc. Pamban. 

,, (Gibbula) variabilis, Ad. Taticorin. 

,, (Monilea) Solandii, Phil. Pamban. 

,, (Polydonta) costatus, Gm. Pamban. 

,, ( ,, ) radiatus, Gm. Pamban. 

,, (Zizyphinus) polychroma, Rv. Pamban, Kilakarai, 

Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 

,,. ( „ ) tranquebaricus, Chemn. laniban, 

Gena stellata, Sow. Muttuwartu. 
Haliotis parva, Linn. Muttuwartu. 

,, seniistriata, Rv. Pamban. 

,, varia, Linn. Pamban. 
Fissurella clathrata, Rv. Pamban. 

,, octogona, Rv. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
„ singaporensis, Rv. Tuticorin. 
,, ticaonica, Rv. Muttuwartu. 
Emarginula obovata, A. Ad. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Scutum unguis, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Dentalium variabile, Desk. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Scutellina asperulata, A. Ad. Paniban. 

,, galatea, Link. \ amban. 
Cbiton. Several undetermined species. 
Solidula solidula, Lmh. Pamban. 
Hydatina circulata, Martyn. Pamban. 
Cylichna voluta, Quoy. Sf Gaim. Kilakarai. 
Bulla ampulla, Linn. Pamban. 
Haminea cymbalum, Quoy Sr Gaim. Pamban. 
Atys poreellana, Gould. Pamban. 

,, tortuosus, A. Ad. Kilakarai. 
Phiiine aperta, Linn. Pamban. 

Oxynoe delicatula, NevilL (= 0. Sieboldii, Krolm ? ). 

Pamban. 
Volvatella cincta, Nevill. ( = V. fragilis, Pease ?) Pamban, 
Lobiger viridis, G. $f H. Nwffl. Tuticur.n. 
Aplysia leporina, Pamban. 
Dolabella Rumphi, Cuv. f Pamban. 
Siphonaria exigua, Sow. Muttuwartu. 

LAMELLIBRANCHIATA. 

Pholas (Martesia) striata, Linn. Pamban. ^~~~ 

Dactylus orientalis, Gm. Pamban. 

Jouannetia globosa, Quoy. Pamban, Kilakarai. 

Guetra nucif era, Speng. Pamban. 

Kocellaria ovata, Sow. Pamban. 

Asp erg ilium dicnotomum, Rv. Pamban. 

Solen adspersus, Dunk. Pamban, Tuticorin, Dutch Bay, 

,, corneus, Lmh. Tuticorin. 
Cultellus radiatus, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

18 



128 



Cor! ula crassa, Hinds. Karaitivu. 
,, fortisulcata. Smith. Tuticorin. 
„ modesta, Hinds. Pamban, Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
,, sulculosa, 11. Ad. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Anatina labiata, llv. Pamban. 
Theora fragilis, //. Ad. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Mactra attenuata. Karaitivu. 

,, corbiculoides, Desk. Pamban, Tuticorin. ' 
,, decora, Desk. Tuti« orin, Dutch Bay. 

,, lurida, Phil. Dutch Bay. 

Lutraria (Merope) nicubarica, Gm Tuticorin. 
Soletellina diphos, Linn. Pamban. 

,, donacioides, Rv. Dutch Bay. 

Tellina assimilis, Rv. Dutch Bay. 

,, chinensis, Hani. Tuticorin, Karaitivu. 
,, perplexa, Hani. Pamban. 
,, scalpellum, Hani. Pamban. 
,, sulcata, Wood. Pamban. 
,, (Arcopagia) pristis, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, (Macalia) Bruguierei, Hani. Pamban. 
,, (Metis) angulata, Chemn. Pamban. 
,, ( ,, ) ephippium, Spengl. Pamban. 
Dosinia histrio, Gm. Pamban. 
,, modesta, Rv. Pamban. 
,, puella, H. Rom. Pamban, Dutch Bay. 
,, ,, From black mud. Kilakarai, Dutch Bay. 

,, trigona, Rv. Pamban, Dutch Bay, Karaitivu. 
DonaX seneus, March. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, cuneatus, Linn. Pamban, Silavaturai. 
,, Dysoni, Desk, Pamban, Tuticorin. 
„ faba, Chemn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, paxillus, Rv. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, scortum, Linn. Pamban. 
Semele casta, A. Ad. Pamban. 
,, crenulata, Soto. Pamban. 
,, exarata, Ad. &. Rv. Pamban. 

,, striata, Riipp. Pamban, Tuiicorin, Cheval, Muttuwartu. 
Mesodesma (Paphia) trigona, Desk. Tuticorin. 

,, ( ,, ) glabratum, Lmk. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

Cytharea morphina, Lmk. Pamban, 
Callista erycina, Linn. Pamban, Kilakarai. 

„ (Meretrix) casta, Hani. Pamban. 

Circe alabastrum, Rv. Pamban. 
,, dispar, Chemn. var. abbreviata, Lmk. Pamban. 
,, ,, Chemn. var. transversalis, Desh. Pamban. 

„ pectinata, Linn. Pamban. Cythoria. 

,, personata, Desh. Pamban, Muttuwartu. 
„ scripta, Linn. Pamban, Karaitivu. 
,, (Crista) divaricata, Chemn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 



129 



Circe (Crista) gibba, Lmk. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Veuus arakana, Nevill. Pamban, Kilakarai, Karaitivu 

Dutch Bay. 
,, foliacea, Phil. Pamban, Cheval, Dutch. Bay. 
,. Lamarcki, Gray. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, lamt-llaris, Schum, Pamban. 
,, plicata, Linn. Pamban. 
,, reticulata, Linn. Pamban. 
,, toreuma, A. Gould. Cheval. 
,, (Anaitis), calophylla, Phil. Pamban, Karaitivu. 
,, (Chione) Layardi, Sow. Pamban. 
,, (Cryptogramma) squamosa, Linn. Karaitivu. 
,, (Sunetta) effossa, Hani. Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval. 
,,(,,) excavata, Hani. Cheval. 
„ ( ,, ) scripta, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, ( ,, ) truncata, Desh. Pamban. 
,, (Timoclea) imbricata, Sow. Tuticorin, Karaitivu. 
,, ( ,, ) scabra, Llanl. Pamban, Dutch Bay. 
Tapes adspersa, Chemn. Pamban, Muttuwartu. 
,, litterata, Linn. Pamban. 
,, malabaricus, Chemn. Pamban, Tuticorin, 
,, rotundata, Linn. Pamban. 

,, textrix, Chemn. Pamban, Dutch Bay, Karaitivu. 
,, undulata, Born. Tuticorin. 
Hemitapes ceylonensis, Sow. Pamban. 

,, pingues, Chemn. Pamban, Dutch Bay. 

Yenerupis carditoides, Link. Tuticorin, Dutch Bay. 

„ ,, var. Muttuwartu. 

Petricola (Narania) divaricata, Chemn. Pamban. 
Cardium asiaticum, Brug. Tuticorin. 
,, latum, Bom. Tuticorin. 
„ leucostoma, Born. Pamban. 
,, retusum, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, rubicundum, Rv. Pamban, Dutch Bay. 
,, rugosum, Lmk. Tuticorin. 

,, (Papyridea)rugatum, Gron. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Laevicardium australe, Sow. Tuticorin. 
,, retusum, Linn. Pamban. 

Lunulicardia subretusa, Sow. Pamban. 
Isocardia Lamarcki, Rv. Muttuwartu. 

,, Moltkeana, Chemn. Muttuwartu. 

Chama lazarus, Linn. Pamban. 
Lucina pi sum, Rv. Pamban, Tuticorin, Karaitivu. 
,, (A.nodontia) edentula, Linn. Pamban. 
„ (Divaricella) Cumingii, Ad. Sf Ang. Tuticorin. 
„ (Lentillaria) divergens, Phil. Tuticorin, Muttu- 
wartu. 
Codakia Fischeriana, Issel. Pamban. 
Oryptodon vesicula, Gould. Tuticorin. 



130 

Galeomma mauritiana, Desk. Pamban. 
Scintilla ambigua, Desk. Pamban. 
,, Candida, Desk. Pamban. 
,, Hanleyi, Sow. Pamban. 
Crassatella radiata, Soio. Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval, Dutch 

Bay. 
,, rostrata, Lmh. Pamban. 

Cardita bicolor, Lmh. Pamban, Kilakarai, Tuticorin. 
,, variegata, Brug. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, ,, var. Mnttuwartu, 

Mytilus viridis, Linn. Tuticorin. 
Modiola cinnamonea, Lmh. Pamban. 
,, japonica, Dunk. Pamban. 
,, Metcalfei, Hani. Pamban. 
,, perfragilis, JDun7c. Pamban. 
,, Trailli, Rv. Pamban. 
,, tulipa, Lmh. Pamban, Silavaturai. 
Lithodomus malaccanus, Rv. Pamban, Cheval. 
,, antillarum, Phil. Pamban. 

,, stramineus, Dunk. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

Septifer bilocularis, Linn. Pamban. 
Avicula fucata, Gould. Tuticorin. 

,, inquinata, Rv. Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
,, margaritifera, Linn. Tuticorin. 
,, radiata, Pease. Tuticorin. 

„ zebra, Tuticorin. Mimics the short lateral ramuli 
of the hydroid (Aglaophenia urens) to 
which it is attached. 
Malleus vulgaris, Lmh. Pamban. 
Pinna, sp. Pamban. 

Area Kraussi, Phil. Pamban, Tuticorin, Muttuwartu, 

Cheval. 
symmetrica, Rv. Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval. 
(A.car) divaricata, Sow. Tuticorin. 
(Anadara) granosa, Linn. Pamban, Kilakarai, Dutch 
Bay. 
(Barbatia) decussata, Sow. Pamban. 
( ,, )fusca, Brug. Pamban, Muttuwartu. 
( „ ) lima Rv. Tuticorin, Muttuwartu. 
(Parallelopipedon) tortuosa, Linn. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
(Suapharca) iDsequalis, Brug. Pamban, Tuticorin, 
Dutch Bay. 
Pectunculus angulatus, Lmh Muttuwartu. 

,, Taylori, Ang. Pamban, Tuticorin, Cheval, Dutch 
Bay.^ 
Limopsis Belcheri, Ad. Sf Rv. Pamban. 
Nucula mitralis, Hind. Dutch Bay. 

Leda mauritiana, Sow. Pamban, Tuticorin, Karaitivu, Dutch 

Bay. 



131 



Pecten Layardi, Rv. Pamban. 

porphyreus, Chemn. Pamban. 
singaporensis, Sow. Muttuwartu. 
speciosus, Rv. Muttuwartu. 
tendineus, Tuticorin. 
varius, Linn. Pamban. 
(Pallium) plica, Linn. Pamban. 
(Pleuronectia) pleoronectes, Linn. Muttuwartu. 
(vola) pyxidatus, Bom. Tuticorin. ' 
Lima orientalis, Ad. 8f Rv. Pamban. 

,, squamosa, Lmh. Pamban, Cheval, Karaitivu, Muttu- 
warta. 
Spondylus Layardi, Rv. Pamban. 
Vulsella lingulata, Link. Pamban, Kilakarai. 

,, rugosa, Link. Pamban. 
Ostrea crista galli, Linn. Pamban. 
,, hyotis, Linn. Tuticorin. 
„ (Alectryonia) folium, Linn. Pamban. 



BEYOZOA. 

For the identification of the following small collection of 
Bryozoa I am indebted to Mr. E. Kirkpatrick of the British 
Museum, Natural History. 

a. Encrusting or growing on Pearl Oysters. 

1. Cheilostomata. 

Scrupocellaria, sp. 

Nellia oculata. Bush. 

Stega*noporella magnilabris, Bush. 

Microporella (Adeonella) coscinophora. Reuss, var. Also found 

growing on coral-rock. 
Lepralia depressa. Bush. 
„ turrita. Smitt. ? 
Smittia reticulata. J. Macgillivray ? var. 

,, rostriformis. Kirkpatrick? var. 
Schizoporella cucullata. Bush. ? 

,, unicornis, Johnst. 

Cellepora albirostris, Smitt. 

2. Cyclostomata. 

Idmonea atlantica, Forbes, var. 

„ n. sp. (?). Also found in crevices of corah 

IS 



132. 

b. Otjier Bryozoa. 

Flustra foliacea, Linn. Foliaceous, and encrusting phanerogams 

on Ceylon pearl-banks. 
Biflirstra (Membranipora), savartii. Audouin. Massive, and 

encrusting Gk>rgonia3. Eaniesvaram. island. 
Lepralia gigas, Ilhiks. Eschara form. Ramesvaram Island. 
Oribrilina radiata, Moll. var. 
innoniinata. Couch. 



TUNIC AT A. 

Ecteinaseidia thurstoni, Herdman. 

A single specimen of this social ascidian, composed of a 
large number of ascidiozooids united together by a deli- 
cate branched stolon, which was fixed to the stem of a 
hydroid zoophyte, was brought up by my divers during 
one of my visits to Eamesvaram island, and kept alive for 
some days in the aquarium. The specimen was sent to Pro- 
fessor Herdman, by whom it has been described b2 as a new 
species closely allied to Ecteinascidia turbinate, Herdm. from 
Bermuda. 

PISCES. 

The following list comprises those species of fishes 
which I have either recorded or preserved during my visits 
to Tuticorin or Pamban on the Madras coast of the gulf of 
Manaar, which latter place I made my head-quarters while 
exploring the coral reefs which fringe the shores of Eames- 
varam and the neighbouring islands. These visits have 
always been made during the months of July and August, 
so that my examination of the fish fauna has been confined 
to a very limited period of the year, and it will doubtless 
"be found, on more extended research to, vary according to 
the season or monsoon. 

The most characteristic feature of the fauna, as con- 
trasted with that of other parts of the coast of the Madras 
Presidency, is the prevalence of the so-called ' coral fishes * 
(Ghcetodon, Heniochus, Psevd-oscarus, 8fc), for the most 
brightly coloured fishes which abound over the reefs, and 
feed either on the small delicate marine invertebrates which 
swarm on the living corals, or, if their teeth are adapted 

32 Trans, Biol. Soc. Liverpool, vol. v,, 1851, 



133 

for the purpose, on the soft parts of mollusc, which they 
extract by gnawing or boring holes into the hard substance 
of the shell. As stated by Haeckel, 3S an explanation of the 
bright colouring of the fishes is found in the Darwinian 
principle, that the less the predominant colouring of any 
creature varies from that of its surroundings, the less likely 
it is to be seen by its foes, the more easily it can steal upon 
its prey, and the more it is fitted for the struggle for 
existence. 

Conspicuous by their abundance were several species 
belonging to the family Sclerodermi, including Batistes (file 
or trigger fish), whose jaws are armed with sharp teeth, and 
which are said to be injurious to the pearl fishery by preying 
on the pearl oyster. Present, too, in great numbers, were 
several species of the family gymnodontes, Tetrcdons (globe 
or frog fishes), including the beautifully marked little 
T. margaritatus, and Diudons, which have a bad reputation 
among the natives as being very poisonous. 

Many of the brightly coloured fishes were preserved by 
the process, devised by Mr. A. Haly, Director of the 
Colombo Museum, which consists in cutting the fish in half 
by a medium longitudinal section, clearing away the bulk 
of the flesh, immersing for some days in a gum, glycerine, 
arsenic mixture 34 and finally mounting in pure glycerine. 
Specimens preserved in this way in 1888 still (1893) 
retain many of their brilliant hues, and of some of them 
paintings, accurate as regards colour, could still be made. 

ELASMOBEANCHIL 

(Sharks and Rays.) 

CAECHAEXIDvE. 

Carcharias. The young of several species commonly met 

with in the fish markets. 
Zygsena malleus, Shaw. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

SCYLLIID^E. 

Stegostoma tigrinum, Gmel. Tuticorin. 
Chiloscv Ilium indicum, Gmel. Tuticorin. 

33 A Visit to Ceylon, Eng. Trans., 1883. 

34 Gum, 1 oz., glycerine, 1 oz., arsenious acid, 1* gr., water, 1 oz. 



134 

PRISTIIXE (SAW FISHES). 

Pristis cuspidatus, Lath. A specimen 18 feet in length 
brought on shore at Tuticorin in 1887. 

RHINOBATID7E. 
Bhinobatus granulatus, Cuv. Tuticorin. 

TOKPEDINIDiE. 

Narcine timlei, (BL Schn.). Pamban. 

TEYGONIDJE. 

Trygon sephen, (ForsJc). Tuticorin. 

,, uarnak, (ForsJc). Pamban, Tuticorin.. 
Pteroplatea micrura, (Bl. Schn.). A single female with twins in 

utero obtained at Pamban. 

MYLIOBATID^E. 
Myliobatis nieuhofii, (Bl. Schn.). Pamban. 

TELEOSTEI (BONY FISHES). 

MUE^ENIDiE (EELS). 

Mursena tessellata, Richardson. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, undulata, (Lacep), Tuticorin. 

SILUEIDiE. 
Arius thalassinus, (JRupp.). Pamban, Tuticorin. 

0LUPEID./E (HEEEINGS). 
Pellona leschenaultii, Cuv. Sf Val. Pamban. 

SOOPELIDiE. 
Saurida tumbil, (Bloch.). Pamban. 

SCOMBEESOCID^E. 
Hemiramphus xanthopterus, (Cuv. Sf Vol.). Pamban. 






135 

PEECIDJE (PEECHES). 

Lates calcarifer, {Block.). Pamban, Tuticorin. Tlie " cock-up." 

Largely eaten by Europeans in 
Calcutta under the name of begti. 
Serranus boenack, {Block.). Tuticorin. 

,, diacanthus, Cuv. 8f Vol. Pamban. 
„ hexagonatus, {Bl. Sckn.). Pamban. 
,, boevenii, Bleeker. Pamban. 
,, fasciatus, {Forsk). Pamban. 
,, salmoides, {Lacep). Tuticorin. 
Lutj anus annularis, {Cuv. 8f Vol.). Pamban. 
„ decussatus, {Cuv.-Sf Vol.). Pamban. 
,, fulvifiamma, {Lorsk). Pamban. 
„ rivulatus, {Cuv. fy Vol.). Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, roseus, Day. Pamban. 
Tberapon quadrilineatus, {Block.). Pamban. 

,, theraps, Cuv. Sf Vol. Pamban. 
Pristipoma hasta, {Block.). Pamban. 
Diagramma crassispinum, Rupp. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, cuvieri, {Bennett). Pamban. 

„ griseum, Cuv. &f Vol. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

Scolopsis vosmeri, {Block.). Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Apogon auritus, Cuv. Sf Vol. Tuticorin. 
„ calosoma, Bleeker. Pamban. 
,, thurstoni, Bay. Pamban. 
Cbilodipterus quinquelineatus, Cuv. 8f Vol. Pamban. 
Gerres oyena (Forsk). Pamban. 

SQUAMIPINNES. 

Chsetodon auriga, Forsk. Pamban. 

,, collaris, Block. Pamban. 

,, vagabundus, Linn. Pamban. 
Heniochus macrolepidotus, Linn. Pamban. 
Drepane punctata, {Gmel.) Pamban. 
Scatophagus argus, {Block.) Pamban, Tuticorin. 

MIILLIDJE (BED MULLETS). 

Upeneoides tragula, {Rickardson). Pamban, Tuticorin. 
Upeneus indicus, {Skaw). Pamban. 

SPAEID^E (BEEAMS). 

Lethrinus karwa, Cuv. Sf Val. Tuticorin. 
,, nebulosus, {Forsk). Pamban. 
Chrysophrys berda, {Forsk). Tuticorin. 
Pimelepterus cinerascens, {Forsk). Pamban, Tuticorin. 



136 

SCORPiENID^E. 

Pterois miles, {Bennett). Pamban. 

TEUTHIDHXE. 

Teuthis marmorata, (Q. Sf G). Tuticorin. 
,, oramin, Giinth. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

BERYCIDiE. 

Holocentrum rnbrum, {Fdrslc),' Pamban, Tuticorin. 

KVRTIDM. 

Pempheris malabarica, Cuv. Sf Val. Tuticorin. 

SCLENID^E. 
Scisena maculata, {Bl. Schn.). Tuticorin. 

ACANTHURID^E (SURGEONS). 

Acantburus gahm, Cuv. Sf Val. Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, triostegus, {Linn). Pamban. 

,, velifer, {Block). Pamban. 

CARANaiD^E (HORSE MACKERELS). 

Caranx gallus, {Linn). Pamban, Tuticorin. 

hippos, {Linn). Tuticorin. 

ire, {Cuv. Sf Val). Pamban. 

rottleri, {Block). Tuticorin. 

sansun, {Forsk). Tuticorin. 

speciosus, {Gmel.). Pamban. 
Platax teira, {Forsk). Pamban. 
Lactarius delicatulus, Cuv. Sf Val. Pamban. 
Equula edentula, {Block). Pamban. 

SCOMBRID^E (MACKERELS). 

Ecbeneis remora,- Linn. Tuticorin. Crushed shells of the pearl 

oyster, aud pearls have been found in 
the stomach. 
,, naucrates, Linn. Tuticorin. 

TRACHINID^E. 

Sill ago sihama, {Forsk). Tuticorin. Called "whiting" by 

Europeans. 



137 

GOBIID^E (GOBIES). 

Gobius bynoensis, Rich. Tuticorin. 
,, citrinus, (Riipp.) Tuticorin. 
Periophthalmus koelkreuteri, (Pall.) Pamban. 
Boleophthalmus boddaerti, (Pall.) Pamban. 

BLENNIID^E. 

Sal arias niarmoratus, (Benn.) Tuticorin. 

MUGILIDJE (GBEY MULLETS). 

Mugil pcecilus, Day. Tuticorin. 

,, cunnesius, Cuv. Sf Vol. Tuticorin. 
,, speigleri, Sleeker. Pamban. 

CENTEISCID^E. 

Amphisile scutata, (Linn). Pamban. 

GLYPHIDODONTID^E. 

Glyphidodon antjerius, Cuv. Sf Val. Tuticorin. 

„ cselestinus, Cuv. Sf Val. Pamban. 

,, notatus, Day. Pamban. 

,, sordidus, (Forsfc.) Pamban. 

Tetradracbmum aruanum, (Linn.) Tuticorin. 
Amphiprion sebse, Sleeker. Pamban. 

LABRID^E (WRASSES). 

Chilinus chlorurus, (Bloch). Pamban. 
Platyglossus dussumieri, (Cuv. Sf Val.) Pamban. 
Pseudoscarus chrysopoma, (Bleefcer). Pamban, Tuticorin. 
,, rivulatus, (Cuv. Sf Val.) Pamban. 

PLEURONEOT1ILE (FLAT FISHES). 

Plagusia marmorata, BleeJcer. Pamban. 
Cynoglossus macrolepidotus, (Bleeher.) Pamban. 

SYNGNATHID^E (PIPE FISHES). 

Syngnathus serratus, Temm. Sf Schley. Pamban, Tuticorin. 

SCLEEODERML 

Balistes mitis, Ben. Pamban. File Fish. 

„ vetula, Linn. Tuticorin. File Fish. 



138 

Triacanthus strigilifer, Cantor. Pamban. 
Ostracion cornutus, Linn. Pamban. Coffer Fish. 

,, nasus, Block. Pamban. Coffer Fish. 

„ turritus, Furslc. Pamban. Coffer Fish. 

GYMNODONTES. 

Tetrodon hispidus, Block. Pamban. 

,, margaritatus, Biipp. Pamban. 

„ immaculatus, Bl. Schn. Pamban. 

Diodon hystrix, Linn. Pamban. 
,, maculatus, Giinth. Pamban. 

LEPTOCEPHALUS, sp. 

As regards the curious pellucid leptocephali, of which I 
have obtained a few specimens in the gulf of Manaar, and 
a large number from the meshes of the fishermen's nets 
at Gropalpur, where they are known as sea-leeches, Dr. 
Giinther says : 35 

" We must come to the conclusion that these leptoce- 
phatids are the offsprings of various kinds marine fishes, 
representing, not a normal stage of development (larvae), 
but an arrest of development at a very early period of their 
life ; they continue to grow to a certain size without corre- 
sponding development of their internal organs, and perish 
without having obtained the characters of the perfect 
animal." 



85 Introduction to Study of Fishes, 1880, pp. 179-182. 





MADRAS GOVERNMENT MUSEUM. 



Bulletin Mo. 4. 



ANTHROPOLOGY 



OF TEE 



TODAS AND KOTAS OF THE NILGIRI HILLS ; 



AND OF THE 



BRAHMANS, KAMMALANS, PALLIS, AND 
PARIAHS OF MADRAS CITY. 

BY 

EDGAR THURSTON, c.m.z s., etc., 

Superintendent, Madras Government Museum. 



% 



MADRAS: 

PRINTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, GOVERNMENT PRESS. 

'Price, 1 rupee 8 annas.] 18 9 6. 




il librae ©ouerntimil $tu$$um Jklblins 



i 



No. 1. — Pearl and Ghank Fisheries of the Gulf of 

Manaar. 
No. 2. — Note on T<»urs along the Malabar Coast. 
No. 3. — BImesvaram Island and Fauna of the Gulf of 

Mana\r. 
No. 5. — Anthropology of the Badagas and Irulas of 

the Nilgiris and, Paniyans of the Wynad (in 

the Press). 



Nature. — " A series of Bulletins of the Madras Government Museum has 
been commenced by the Superintendent, Mr. Edgar Thurston, and Parts I 
and II, which have reached this country, contain much useful information 
upon the fisheries and marine zoology of the Presidency. Part [ contains 
a revised account of the ' Notes on the Pearl and Chank Fisheries of the 
Gulf of Mannar ' ; and its subject-matter is already known in great part 
to British students of ' applied zoology.' Par t II entitled ' Note on Tours 
along the Malabar Coast,' records a number of interesting observations in 
marine zoology made on the West Coast of Madras. It is interesting to 
note that even there the natives have their fishery question." 

Calcutta Review. — Bulletin No. 1, Pearl and Chank Fisheries. " Wonder- 
ful is the quantity of information Mr. Thurston has deftly compressed within 
the 58 pages of what he modestly calls a Bulletin. Science, archaeology, 
political economy, folklore, Sir Edwin Arnold's poetry, are all laid undVr 
contribution, and yet in every page the author's shrewd personality asserts 
itself. He makes a dull topic bright, and contrives to enliven the driest 
of details." 

Indian Journal of Education. — In Bulletin No. 1 Mr. Thurston gives, in 
a very pleasant and readable form, an account of his visits to the pearl and 
chank fishing grounds of the Madras and Ceylon Governments. Those 
who take an interest in the commercial industries of India will find much 
valuable information. The naturalist too will discover much that claims 
his attention in these pages, for in a graphic and interesting way the 
writer has contrived to throw in a large number of facts relative to the 
fauna of the Gulf of Manaar. 

" No one doubts that the seas, which lave our Indian Coasts, are 
abundantly stocked with edible fish, but the problem of making these 
vast resources available for the food supply of the half -fed masses of this 
country, has never yet been satisfactorily solved. We recommend Bulletin 
No. 2 to the attention of every thoughtful reader." 

Nature. — In the third Bulletin of the Madras Government Museum 
appears a revised edition of Mr. Edgar Thurston's " Ramesvaram Island 
and the Fauna of the Gulf of Manaar." The situation of Ramdsvaram, • i 
the reef which, under the name of Adam's Bridge, almost connects Cey) - 
with the mainland of India, renders an account of its flora and iv> 
particularly interesting; and the present brochure, which is illustra ~: 
with several charts and photographs of the coast, furnishes a useful t up. 
plement to Haeckel's graphic pages upon the island of Ceylon, 
observations recorded are admitted to be far from exhaustive of the bi 
gical features of the Gulf of Manaar, but they are more than sufficie .r to 
indicate the existence of a fauna well worthy of further examinati 






MADRAS GOVERNMENT MUSEUM. 



Bulletin No. 4. 



ANTHROPOLOGY 



OP THE 



TODAS AND KOTAS OF THE NILGIRI HILLS ; 



AND OF THE 



BRAHHANS, KAMMALANS, PALLIS, AND 
PARIAHS OF MADRAS CITY. 

BY 

EDGAR THUESTON, c.m.z.s., etc., 

Superintendent, Madras Government Museum* 



MADRAS: 

PRINTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, GOVERNMENT PRESS. 

1896. 






A TODA BEAUTY 



THURSTON PHOT. PHOTO-PRINT SURVEY OFFICE, MADRAS. 

1895. 



THE TODAS OF THE NILGIRIS, 



A curious people are the Todas or Tudas, to whom the most 
sacred objects on this earth are a holy dairy-man (palal) and 
a large-horned race of semi-domesticated buffaloes, on whose 
milk and the products thereof (butter and ney ] ) they still 
depend largely, though to a less extent than in bygone 
days, before the existence of the Ootacamund bazar, for 
subsistence. 

Their origin is, in the absence of any except very vague 
tradition connecting them with Rama or Ravana, and of 
written language, veiled in obscurity, but they take it on 
trust, without displaying any interest in the matter, that they 
are the original inhabitants of the Nilgiris, on which they 
have dwelt from time immemorial. iC So," they say, " our 
grandfathers told us. How can we know otherwise V 

Being myself no philologist, I must rest content with 
merely recording, without criticism, the different views 
which have been pronounced as to the origin of the Toda lan- 
guage. According to Dr. Pope, it seems to have been origin- 
ally old Kanarese, and not a distinct dialect. Dr. Caldwell 
held, on the other hand, to the view that, of all the Dravi- 
dian idioms, Tamil is that to which the Toda language is most 
nearly allied; and the Grerman missionary Metz found at 
least eighty out of a hundred words commonly made use 
of by a Toda to be indentical with, or derived from, words 
used by their Dravidian neighbours, and thought that the 
language is most nearly connected with old Kanarese. 

According to Dr. Oppert, the latest philological writer on 
the races of Southern India, 2 the Todas are of Turanian 
or Scythian descent, and there is no doubt but that they be- 
long to the Gaudian branch of the Grauda-Dravidian group, 
whose settlements got flooded out by successive waves of 
the Aryan invasion. If this theory be true, the Todas were 
originally mountaineers, even if, as Dr. Oppert says, they 
ascended from the plains to the Nilgiri Hills. In support 
of the origin of their name from Koda or Kuda, signifying 

1 Ney=gbi or clarified butter. 

"> The Original Inhabitants of India, 1893. 

20 ' 



142 

a mountaineer, lie records that, when inquiring into their 
name, he was informed by various natives, and even by some 
Todas, that the Todavar are also called Kodavar. This 
statement is, however, not borne out by the replies to my 
repeated inquiries in search of confirmation thereof. Toda- 
var the Todas admit, but they will not hear of their being 
called Kodavar, despite the fact that there is a Toda mand at 
Kodanad on the eastern side of the Nilgiris. 

According to Colonel Marshall, whose 'Phrenologist 
among the Todas ' (1873) should be read by any who are 
interested in the tribe, ' ' there is much of the ' blameless 
Ethiopian * about them : something of the Jew and of the 
Ohaldsean in their appearance." 

An attempt has been made to connect the Todas with the 
lost tribes, and, amid a crowd of Todas assembled together 
to celebrate a funeral rite, there is no difficulty in picking 
out many individuals, whose features would find for them a 
ready place as actors on the Ober Amergau stage, either in 
leading or subordinate parts. 

Clothed and without arms, the Todas for the most part 
lead a simple pastoral life, comparatively little influenced by 
the presence of Europeans in their midst. Female infanticide, 
which was formerly practised to a wide extent, has, however, 
entirely ceased under British rule. There can, I think, be 
no doubt that Toda infanticide must be attributed to a desire 
to keep down the population, and not, as has been suggested, 
to a desire felt by the women to retain their good looks, 
which rapidly disappear, whether the babies are killed or no. 
"I don't know," said an elderly Toda to Colonel Marshall, 
" whether it was wrong or not to kill them, but we were 
very poor, and could not support our children. Now every 
one has a mantle (putkuli), but formerly there was only one 
for the whole family, and he who had to go out took the 
mantle, the rest remaining at home naked all but the loin 
cloth (kuvn)." Polyandry is, in consequence of the larger 
number of females who now grow up and become available 
for matrimonial purposes, on the decline, and resorted to 
only by the poorer class of Todas, who have not the means 
to support a separate married establishment. Of polyan- 
dry the Todas are at heart ashamed, and strenuously deny 
its existence until hard pressed. The Ootacamund Todas 
assured me that in their mands no cases of polyandry ex- 
isted, but that it was practised by the ' jungle Todas* at 
Paikara. But, during my stay at Paikara, I was quite as 
strongly assured that no woman of the neighbouring mands 



PL- VIII 



TODA MAN 



E. THUBSTON PHOT, PHOTO-PRINT SURVEY OFFICE, MADRAS. 

1895. 



143 



had more than one husband, though polyandry prevailed at 
Ootacamund. 

In the system of polyandry as practised by the Todas, if 
one of several brothers is married to a woman, the other 
brothers may, as my interpreter expressed it, • enjoy privi- 
leges - ; or, if a man's wife has one or more younger sisters, 
they may become wives of their sister's husband or husbands 
■ — an arrangement which complicates relationship. In lieu 
of a no-admission card or ' not-at-home' box, a walking stick 
and mantle (putkuli) are placed outside the door of the hut 
as an indication that one of the men is with the woman, and 
entrance into the hut is forbidden. 

During the last quarter of a century the number of 
Todas, both male and female, has increased to a slight extent, 
as shown by the following tabular statement based on the 
census figures of 1871, 1881, and 1891 :— 





Year. 


Males. 


Females. 


Total. 






1871 


405 


288 


693 






1881 


380 


293 


673 






1891 

Increase . . . 


424 


312 


736 






19 


24 


43 





Writing in 1868, Dr. Shortt in his ' Account of the tribes 
of the Nilgiris,' makes a sweeping assertion that '' most of 
their women have been debauched by European, who, it 
is sad to observe, have introduced diseases, to which these 
innocent tribes were at one time perfect stranpers, and 
which, as they have no means of curing, are slowly, but no 
less surely sapping their once hardy and vigorous constitu- 
tions. The effects of intemperance and disease (syphilis) 
combined are becoming more and more apparent in the 
shaken and decrepit appearance, which at the present day 
these tribes generally present.'' Fact it undoubtedly is, and 
proved both by hospital and naked-eye evidence, that syphi- 
lis has been introduced among the Todas, as among the 
Andamanese, by contact with more civilised races. Fact it 
also undoubtedly is, notwithstanding Colonel Marshall's 
phrenological belief that the necessity for stimulants is a 
property of the brachycephalic head, that the dolichocephalic 
Toda displays a marked partiality for gin, port, bottled beer 



144 

and arrack, and will willingly drink neat brandy in a mug ; 
and the silver coins given, with cheroots, as a bribe to 
induce subjects to come and have their measurements 
recorded at my improvised laboratory, were expended entirely 
on drink in the bazar. But I have never seen a Toda, as I 
have repeatedly seen Kotas and Badagas, staggering home- 
ward from the drink shops in the bazar in a disgusting state 
of brawling intoxication, or, in fact, much the worse for 
drink. Nor would any one who has studied them regard 
the Todas otherwise than as a hardy race, of fine physique, 
and, in the case of the women, modestly behaved (with an 
occasional exception of solicitation) in the presence of 
Europeans, despite the oft-repeated statement that "the 
women show an absence of any sense of decency or inde- 
cency in exposing their naked persons in the presence of 
strangers." 

Morality, it must be confessed, is reduced to a very low 
ebb previous to marriage — a civil contract which is regarded 
as binding, and acts, in some measure, as a check to irregular 
intercourse. And, it must also be confessed, the Toda has 
not a strict regard for truth, when any advantage is to be 
derived from telling a falsehood. As an example of mild 
Toda mendacity the following incident may be quoted. 
Instructions had been issued for a girl aged ten to be 
brought to me to be measured and photographed. On the 
following day a damsel was accordingly produced, who was 
stated to be ten years old, and not to have reached puberty. 
She was well developed, with the measurements of a young 
adult ; possessed a well marked moustache ; and was tattooed, 
as if she was a married woman, on the chest, hand, legs and 
feet. It was explained to me that the girl and a friend had 
tattooed each other as a joke. I attributed the story of her 
age and the origin of the tattoo marks to mendacity with a 
view to the receipt of the customary baksheesh ; and it sub- 
sequently turned out that the girl was at least eighteen 
years old, had been married some years previously and 
divorced for immorality, and was about to marry a second 
husband undaunted by her previous life history. In the 
case just cited the age was wilfully misrepresented ; but, as 
a matter of fact, the Todas have very little idea of age after 
they are grown up. A. little cross questioning would at 
times bring the subject's age down, e.g., from seventy to 
fifty, recalling to mind the story of the Native who remarked : 
" This year my father is sixty-eight. Next year he will be 
one hundred and eight." 



PL, IX 



TODA WOMAN 



£. THtESTON PH07. PHOTO-PPJNT SURVEY OFFICE, MADRAS. 

1895. 



145 

In the course of my wanderings I met with more than 
one man who had served,- or was still serving, Government 
in the modest capacity of a forest guard; and I have heard 
of others who have been employed, not with conspicuous 
success, on planter's estates. In connection with the objec- 
tion of the Todas to work, it is recorded that when, on one 
occasion, a mistake about the ownership of some buffaloes 
committed an old Toda to jail, it was found impossible to 
induce him to work with the convicts, and the authorities, 
unwilling to resort to hard measures, were compelled to save 
appearances by making him an overseer. 

At the present day the Nilgiri C.M.S. Tamil Mission 
has extended its sphere of work to the Todas, and I cannot 
resist the temptation to narrate the Toda version of the 
story of Dives and Lazarus, with its moral, as given, I 
believe, to a missionary lady on the occasion of an examin- 
ation. The English say that once upon a time a rich man 
and a poor man died. At the funeral of the rich man there 
was a great tamasha, and many buffaloes were sacrificed. 
But for the funeral of the poor man neither music nor 
buffaloes were provided. The English believe that in the 
next world the poor man was as well off as the rich man, so 
that, when any one dies, it is of no use spending money on 
the funeral ceremonies. 

Two schools have been established, one at Ootacamund, 
the other near Paikara. It is said that, in their yearly mi- 
gration to distant mands for change of pasture for their 
herds, some of the Todas leave their children behind at the 
mands near the schools, with some one to take care of them, 
in order that their lessons may not be interrupted. No 
Toda, I was informed, has as yet been baptised. 

A Toda c conductor, ' who receives a small monthly 
salary, and capitation allowance for every child who attends 
school regularly, showed us the way to the Paikara school, 
where eighteen children (sixteen boys and two girls), 
varying in age from seven to sixteen, and some clad in 
ill-fitting jackets instead of the picturesque putkuli, were 
reading elementary Tamil and English 3 and doing simple 
arithmetic. One boy, a bright and intelligent lad, aged 
twelve, was working for the ( third standard/ and read Eng- 
lish very fairly, but with artificial Hindu intonation instead 
of the natural musical Toda voice. I could not help wonder- 
ing whether this lad will be content, as he grows up, to 
live the simple life of a Toda herdsman, or will enter into the 
lists in the struggle for a small -paid appointment under 



146 



Government. The Toda is even now, as I have experienced, 
capable of submitting petitions, written in the bazar, ' beg- 
ging your honour/ etc. ; and it is to be feared, from an 
ethnographic standpoint, that the spread of education 
among them will tend to obliterate that spirit of independ- 
ence and simplicity of character which have hitherto dis- 
tinguished the Todas favourably from the other inhabitants 
of Southern India. A quarter of a century ago the Todas 
are said to have had " just so much knowledge of the speech 
of their vassals as is demanded by the most ordinary re- 
quirements " ; 3 whereas, at the present day, a few write, 
and many converse fluently in Tamil. One man I came 
across, who, with several other Todas, was selected on ac- 
count of fine physique for exhibition at Barnum's show in 
Europe, America, and Australia some years ago, and still 
retained a smattering of English, talking fondly of 
' Shumbu *. (the elephant Jumbo). For some time after his 
return to his hill abode, a tall white hat (cylinder-hut) was 
the admiration of his fellow tribesmen. To this man finger 
prints came as no novelty, as his impressions were recorded 
both in England and America. 

A self-possessed and cheery person is the Toda, and 

Characteristics. "fr ca P able of appreciating a joke. 
The appearance or a European (who is 
greeted as swami) in a mand is a signal for a general cry 
among the inhabitants, male and female, for inam (alms), 
not so much because they are professional mendicants, as 
because experience has taught them that visitors generally 
disgorge small sums, and, like the Father of the Marshal- 
sea, they make capital out of human weakness. As a rule, 
they have no objection to Europeans entering into their huts, 
but on one occasion we were politely requested to take off 
our boots before crawling in on our stomachs, so as not to 
desecrate " the deep recesses of their odorous dwelling." 

The friendly disposition of the Todas towards Europeans 
is well brought out by the following note, with which a 
former forest-settlement officer of the Nilgiris has been 
good enough to supply me. " Bickapathi mand, or, as 
Tommy Atkins from Wellington dubs it, Pickapack 
mand, is one of the most picturesque. It is situated on the 
top of a grand saddle, and furnishes a magnificent view 
of the Mysore ditch and the grand teak forests beyond. 
I had frequent occasion to go there, and soon got on friendly 



8 W. Ross King— The Aboriginal Tribes of the Kxlgiri Hill* 



147 

terms with the Todas, whose ladies greatly appreciated the 
bazar-made sweetmeats of Ootacamund, and whose men— 
Toda-like — were always ready to accept the seeds of garden 
vegetables given to them by the forest officer, so long as 
a Badaga did all the digging, weeding and bedding, at our 
expense. One bright little girl, aged about eight, used 
to sing to us in the evening a Tamil song, which she had 
picked up from a O.M.S. Missionary, the refrain of which, 
•' Thevan nallavan * (God is good), chanted in her quaint 
crooning little voice, still runs in my head. Meantime her 
brother, a good-looking picturesque lad aged ten, would wait 
expectantly by, watching with wistful eye until the expected 
piece of chocolate, fig, biscuit, or other delicacy, was 
forthcoming. 

" One night, while we were encamped hard by, a tiger, 
or possibly a pair of them, stampeded the buffaloes out 
of the kraal close to the mand, and killed no less than six 
of them, as they blindly fled for a couple of miles over 
almost impassable country, It was my good fortune a few 
days later to come across, stalk in the open, and shoot this 
tiger. Nor was this all, for, on the following day, I shot close 
to the mand a sambar stag (Oervus unicolor). In a space of 
twenty-four hours I had thus ridded the mand of their 
dreaded enemy the tiger, and got for its inhabitants a sur- 
feit of the only flesh that Todas are allowed to eat. This 
was too great an occasion to be passed over in silence, or 
to be treated with ordinary formalities. Something special 
was called for, and the Todas, to a man and woman, rose 
to the occasion. A new and original ode, in which I, and 
not the evergreen Raman, was the hero, was improvised. 
The Todas from the neighbouring mands were hastily sum- 
moned ; a dress rehearsal was held at mid-day ; and in the 
evening a friend and I were treated to the serenade. I wish 
I had a copy of the ode. Its fine dithyrambic periods 
reminded us of Pindar in his loftiest moments. The whole 
available musical talent of the mand was requisitioned, and, 
as we sat beneath the clear canopy of a star-decked sky, 
we felt the performance was one worth going miles to see 
and hear." 

The typical Toda man is above medium height, well 
proportioned and stalwart, with straight nose, regular fea- 
tures, and perfect teeth. In some instances the expression 
is of a conspicuously Jewish type, but, as Colonel Ross King 
points out 4 " the general contour of the head and cast of 

* Op. tit. 

n 



148 

countenance are rather such as we are accustomed to 
associate with the ancient Roman ; " and their outer gar- 
ment (putkuli) of thick cotton cloth with red and blue 
stripes woven into it, which reaches from the shoulders to 
the knees, hanging in graceful folds, with one end flung 
over the left shoulder, is commonly (and wrongly) compared 
to the Roman toga. 

The principal characteristic, which at once distinguishes 
the Todas from the other tribes of the Nilgiris, is the devel- 
opment of the pilous (hairy) system. This characteristic, 
as well as the projecting superciliary arches, and dolicho- 
cephalic skull, the Toda man possesses in common with the 
Australians and the Ainus, but it sinks into insignificance 
before the remarkable hairy development represented in 
Mr. Savage Landor's illustration of his lunatic Ainu friend. 
Occasionally, as my notes record, the hair is feebly devel- 
oped on the chest; but only in one case — that of a man 
aged fifty— out of the large number which I have examined, 
have I observed a marked arrest of development of the hairy 
system (pi. xviii). The hair of the head was in this case 
short, and not bushy ; beard, whiskers and moustache were 
represented by light down, and gave the man the appear- 
ance of a professional actor. There was an absence of hair 
on the chest and abdomen ; a few stray hairs in the arm- 
pits, no hair on the back and upper arms ; and only feebly- 
developed hair on the extensor surface of the fore-arms and 
lower extremities. 

The odour of the person of the Todas, caused, I imagine, 
by the rancid butter which they apply to their cloths as a 
preservative agent, is quite characteristic, and furnishes a 
differential character. The missionary Hue declared that 
he could recognise the Negro, Tartar, Thibetan, Hindu and 
Chinese by their effluvium ; and, with a view to testing his 
sense of smell, long after our return from the Nilgiris, I 
blindfolded a friend, who had accompanied me on my Toda 
campaign, and presented before his nose a cloth, which he 
at once recognised as having something to do with the Todas 
by its strong and characteristic odour. 

As a type of a Toda man in many points, though con- 
siderably below the average height, the following case 
may be cited : — 

1. Male, aged 40. Owns twenty buffaloes; makes ney 
from the milk, aud sells it in the Ootacamund bazar. With 
the proceeds purchases rice, salt, chillies, tamarinds, saffron, 



PL. X, 




! 







■"'■"v'a:' .'^.'•■■• : --.-;-'- ; : r ,-. ! * 



^liilllf 


§ 


■ r «?>-■■ 
BHHKt 


i% *s 



i:»l!>:.;t :: 



' i Q 

• o 



■ : M 




149 

potatoes, brinjals (the fruit of Solatium melongena), etc. 
Does not as a rule eat meat, but says that he would have no 
objection to eating the flesh of sambar (Cervus unicolor). 
Drinks arrack, gin, bottled beer, etc. 

Height 159-2 cm. 

Weight 98 lbs. 

Skin dirty copper brown, much darker than that of the 
surrounding females. 

Hair black, with stray grey hairs on head, face, chest 
and shoulders. Beard luxuriant. Hair of head parted in 
middle, and hanging in curls over forehead and back of 
neck. Hair thickly developed on chest and abdomen, with 
median strip of dense hairs on the latter. Hair thick over 
upper and lower ends of scapulas (shoulder blades), thinner 
over rest of back ; well developed on extensor surface of 
upper arms, and both surfaces of fore-arms ; very thick on 
extensor surfaces of the latter. Hair abundant on both 
surfaces of legs ; thickest on outer side of thighs and round 
patella (knee-cap). Dense beard-like mass of hair beneath 
gluteal region (buttocks). 

Face much corrugated. Length from vertex to chin 
20*1 cm. Bizygomatic breadth 12*6 cm. Bigoniac breadth 
9*3 cm. Glabella indistinct. Superciliary ridges very 
prominent. Eyebrows united across middle line by thick 
tuft of hairs. Cheek-bones not prominent. Lips medium, 
somewhat everted, not prognathous. Facial angle (of 
Cuvier) 67°. Teeth pearly white, entire, large, and regular. 

Eyes horizontal. Iris light-brown. Incipient arcus 
senilis. 5 Conjunctivae injected (this is unusual). Upper 
eyelid not thick ; does not partially cover caruncle. 6 

Nose of Semitic type. Bridge well defined. Height 
5*3 cm. ; breadth 3 *5 cm. Nostrils wide; 2 cm. in length. 

Ears not outstanding. Points well developed. Lobules 
detached, and pierced. Ear 5*8 cm. in length. 

Cephalic length 20 cm. (the longest measurement re- 
corded) ;" breadth 14"6 cm. 

Chest 81 cm. in circumference. 

Shoulders 38 "5 cm. 

Hand, length 18 cm. ; breadth 8 '3 cm. Length of 
middle finger 11*7 cm. Nails of left hand kept very 



5 Arcus senilis is a ring of fatty degeneration in the peripheral zone of 
the cornea. 

6 In a very few cases the upper eyelid was noticed partially covering 
the caruncle. 



150 



long for combing and scratching hair. Fingers broad ; nails 
square. Two brass rings on right little finger; two steel 
rings on left ring finger, and one steel ring on left littlo 
finger. 

{Note. — The Toda men do not indulge in jewelry to the 
same extent as the Kotas.) 

Foot, length 25*3 cm. ; max : breadth 9*3 cm. 

The average height of the Toda man, according to my 
measurements, is 169*6 cm., but one of the men who were 
selected for exhibition at Barnum's show, was 179 cm. 
high, and at a funeral ceremony I picked out a man towering- 
above every one else, whose measurements were as follows : — 

2. Man, aged 25. Pigeon breasted. 
Height 185 cm. Eecord by 6 cm. 
Chest 84'5 cm. 

Shoulders 40*5 cm. 

Grande envergure (span of arms), 194 cm, Eecord by 
5*2 cm. 

Cubit, 53*2 cm. Record by 2*9 cm. 

Hand, length 20 cm. ; breadth 8*8 cm. 

Middle finger, length 12*9 cm. Eecord by -2 cm. 

Hips, 29 cm. 

Foot, length 27*4 cm. ; max : breadth 9*5 cm. 

3. The strongest man whom I came across was an elderly 
monegar (head-man) of venerable appearance, wearing a 
turban in virtue of his position. His teeth were entire, 
and sound, indicating the enjoyment of good digestion- 
The upper eyelid partially covered the caruncle. There 
was a preponderance of white hair on the head and face ; 
snow white hair on the chest ; and black hair on the back, 
arms, abdomen, and legs. His measurements, as compared 
with the Toda average, are herewith recorded : — ■ 



Dynamometer . . 

Height 

Span of arms 

Shoulders 

Chest 

Biceps (circumference) 

Cubit 

Hand, length 

,, breadth .. 
Middle finger . . 
Hips 



aged 50-55. 


Toda average 


112 lbs. 


79 lbs. 


175 cm. 


1696 cm. 


179 „ 


175 „ 


39-5 „ 


393 ,, 


93 „ 


83 „ 


32 ,, 


• • 


48-6 „ 


47 „ 


19-8 „ 


18-8 ,-, 


8-2 „ 


8-1 „ 


12-5 „ 


12 „ 


29-4 „ 


25'7 „ 



151 



Monegar 
aged 50-55. 


Toda average. 


53*5 cm. 


, , 


34-5 „ 


, t 


26-4 „ 


26-2 cm. 


10-1 „ 


9-2 „ 


195 „ 


19-4 „ 


15 „ 


14-2 „ 


55 „ 


4'7 „ 


4-1 „ 


3-6 „ 


10-5 „ 


9-6 „ 


13-6 „, 


12-7 „ 


d had readied advanced 



Thigh (circumference) 
Calf (circumference) 
Foot, length 

, , breadth , c 
Cephalic length 

,, breadth 
Nasal height 

,, breadth . . 
Bigoniac 
Bizygomatic 

As examples of Toda men who 
years, the two following were selected for record : — 

4. Old nian, who maintains that he is a centenarian. 
Bowed with age. Face wrinkled, and furrowed like a 
shrivelled apple. Teeth entire, but upper incisors and canines 
reduced to mere pegs. Says that he remembers, when he 
was a lad, sixty or seventy years ago, going to a great 
gathering of Todas at the house of Mr. Sullivan (one 
of the first Europeans who visited the Nilgiris), who ex- 
plained to them that the Government was paternally inclined 
towards them. 

5. Man said to be sixty years old, but looks many 
years older. Bowed with age. Face wrinkled and fur- 
rowed. Advanced arcus senilis. Teeth entire, and in good 
condition. Muscles wasted and flabby. 

Hair of head long and wavy, white with scattered tufts 
of black. Moustache and beard white, with diffused black 
hairs. Eye-brows black with scattered white hairs ; united 
across middle line by black and white, hairs curving up- 
wards. Hair on chest and shoulders white ; on abdomen 
black with sparse white hairs. White hair on back above 
spine of scapula ; black hairs over body of scapula ; and 
below inferior angle. Extensor surface of upper extremi- 
ties very hairy. Preponderance of black hairs on upper 
arm, and white on fore-arm, Abundant black hair in arm- 
pits. Legs very hairy on both extensor and flexor surfaces. 
Preponderance of white hair on front and outer side of 
upper leg. Black, with scattered white hairs, on back of 
upper leg, and both surfaces of lower leg. 

6. Man. A dense growth of long straight hairs directed 
outwards on helix of both ears, bearing a striking resem- 
blance to the hairy development on the helix of the common 
Madras bonnet monkey (Macacus sinicus) . 



152 

The two following cases of young lads are not, for obvi- 
ous reasons, included in the table of measurements, but I 
place them on record as they are characteristic : — 

7. Boy, aged 12. Shock head of hair. Down on upper 
lip. No hairy development on body. (Hair, it is said, 
develops between the fourteenth and seventeenth years.) 
Wears steel bangle round right ankle. Learning Tamil, 
English, and simple arithmetic, etc., at Paikara school. 

Height 143*8 cm. 

Chest 68*5 cm. 

Shoulders 32-7 cm. 

Foot, length 23*4 cm. ; max : breadth 8*3 cm. 

8. Boy, aged 16. Hair of head black, long, and wavy. 
Long hairs directed upwards between bushy eye-brows. 
Down on upper lip, and hair developing on chin, not on 
body. Ears pierced. 

Height 156 cm. 
Weight 91-5 lb. 
Shoulders 34*2 cm. 
Chest 76 cm. 
Cubit 44*5 cm. 

Hand, length 17*5 cm. ; breadth 7/7 cm. 
Hips 23-1 cm. 

Foot, length 25 '7 cm. ; max : breadth 18' 7 cm. 
Cephalic length 18*7 cm. 
„ breadth 14*1 cm. 
Nasal height 4*5 cm. 

„ breadth 3*5 cm. 
Bigoniac 9*2 cm. 
Bizygomatic 12*3 cm. 

The Toda women are much lighter in colour than the 
men, and the colour of the body has been aptly described as 
being of a cafe~au-lait tint, and the face a shade darker. 
The skin of the female children and young adults is often 
of a warm copper hue. Some of the young women, with 
their hair dressed in glossy ringlets, bright, glistening eyes, 
and white teeth, are distinctly good-looking (frontispiece) 
though the face is spoiled by the lips and mouth ; but both 
good looks and complexion are short-lived, and the women 
speedily degenerate into uncomely hags. 

The female outer garment consists of a robe similar to 
that of . the men, but worn differently, being thrown over 
both shoulders and clasped in front by the hand. 



PL. X 





11 




,;,#^ 



j,: j :,K ? ;*!' : 



"i*^;%- 



ippil 



TODA MONEGAR. 



153 

The leading characteristics of the female sex, the 
system of tattooing, and decoration with ornaments, are 
summed up in the following descriptive cases : — - 

9. Girl, aged 17. Father Todi ; married to a Kenna. 
One child (female) seven months old. A bright, good-look- 
ing, intelligent girl, of modest demeanour. Can read and 
write Tamil to a limited extent. Not tattooed. 

Height 155 cm. 

Weight 91 lbs. 

Skin of a uniform warm copper hue, smooth, and dry. 
She looks very fair when contrasted with the surrounding 
men. 

Hair black, parted in the middle, and worn in flowing 
ringlets, which fall over the shoulders and neck. Hair uni- 
formly distributed, not tufted. Uses ghi (clarified butter) 
as pomatum. Possesses a looking glass. Either curls her 
hair herself, or gets a friend to do it. 

Fine light hairs on back between shoulders, and on 
extensor surface of fore-arm. 

Cephalic length 18'6 cm.; breadth 13*5 cm. 

Face long, oval. Length from vertex to chin 20 cm. 
Bizygomatic 11*7 cm. Bigoniac 9'5 cm. Glabella smooth ; 
superciliary ridges not pronounced. Chin round. Cheek 
bone3 not prominent. Lips medium, slightly everted. Not 
prognathous. Facial angle 69*5. Teeth white, and well 
shaped. 

Eyes glistening, horizontal. Iris dark brown. Conjunc- 
tiva? clear, not injected. Long, black, silky eye-lashes. 

Nose straight. Height 3*7 cm. ; breadth 3" I cm. 

Ears not outstanding. Points well developed. Length 
6 cm. Lobes detached, pierced and plugged with wood. 
Wears gold ear-rings on festive occasions. 

Shoulders 34 cm. 

Fingers delicate, tapering. Nails almond-shaped. 
Length of hand 17 cm. ; breadth 7*5 cm. Length of 
middle finger 10*8 cm. 

Foot well shaped. Length 23 cm. ; max : breadth 8'2 cm. 

Baby (named Latchmi) shaved on back part of top of 
head. Hair brought forward over forehead. Has round 
neck a silver chain in three strands, ornamented with current 
two-anna pieces and Arcot four-anna pieces. 

10. Woman, aged 22. Sister of No. 1. Strong family 
likeness. Father and husband both Todis. Married 
between four and five years. One child (female), aged nine 



154 

months. Tattooed with three dots on back of left hand. 
Complexion dirty copper colour. 

Hairs between shoulders, on extensor surface of upper 
and fore-arms, and legs. Wears silver necklet, ornamented 
with Arcot two-anna pieces ; thread and silver armlets orna- 
mented with cowry shells (Cyprcea moneta) on right upper 
arm ; thread armlet ornamented with cowries on left upper 
arm ; glass bead bracelet on left fore -arm ; brass ring on 
left ring finger ; silver rings on right middle and ring 
' fingers. 

Lobules of ear attached, pierced. Ear-rings removed 
owing to grandmother's death. 

1 1 . Woman, aged 28, past her prime. Father a Kuttan ; 
husband a Kenna, Three children (girls), of whom two are 
alive, aged eleven and eight. 

Tattooed with a single dot on chin ; rings and dots on 
chest (pi. xn, 2) outer side of upper arms (pi. xn, 3) back 
of left hand, below calves (pi. xn, 4) above ankles (pi. xn, 6) 
and across dorsum of feet (pi. xu, 5). 

Wears thread armlet ornamented with young cowries on 
right fore-arm ; thread armlet and two heavy ornamental 
brass armlets on left upper arm ; ornamental brass bangle, 
and glass bead bracelet on left wrist ; brass ring on left 
little ringer; two steel rings on left ring finger; bead 
necklet ornamented with cowries. 

"12. Woman, aged 35. Father a Todi; husband a Pek- 
kan. Five children (3 boys, 2 girls), all alive ; youngest 
three years old. Tattooed as No. 2, but, in addition, with 
rows of dots and rings on back (pi. xn, 1). 

Skin dry, muddy yellow brown. 

Hair black. Hairs of head 65 cm. long (a record of 
length) falling over shoulders and back in ringlets. Slight 
moustache. Hair developed on extensor surface of upper 
and fore-arms, legs, and between shoulder blades, where 
there is profuse secretion of perspiration. 

Height 152*4 cm. 

Weight 108 lbs. 

Cephalic length 19*3 cm. ; breadth 13*6 cm. 

Face. Wrinkles on forehead; superciliary ridges and 
glabella not marked. Eyebrows united across middle line 
by fine hairs. Gheek-bones rather prominent, with hollows 
beneath. 

Nose straight. Height 4'1 cm. ; breadth 3*5 cm. Ears 
not outstanding. Length 6*1 cm. Points well developed. 
Lobules attached, pierced. Possesses ear-rings, but will 



PL XII 



oo 



o< 



GO- 
OD* 



OO OO OO 



oo- 
oo« 

o o 
2 



CO OO OO 



?? 

o...: : o 

o ••••o 

3 



oo. 

4 



o 

o 

6 



»-• • • •• O) i 

o 

7 






jODA TATTQO MARKS PHOTO-ZINCO., 8UflVEY OFFICE. MADRAS, 

1895 



155 

not wear them until the dry funeral ceremony of an aunt, 
who died three months ago, has been performed. 

Height from vertex to chin 21 '5 cm. Bizygomatio 
breadth 12*2 cm. Bigoniac breadth 9*2 cm. 

Shoulders 34*2 cm. 

Hand, length 17*5 cm. ; breadth 7*8 cm. Length of 
middle finger 11 cm. Nails of left hand kept long for 
combing and scratching. 

Foot, length 24*7 cm. ; max : breadth 7*9 cm. 

13. Woman aged 35. Father a Kuttan ; husband a 
Kenna. Five children (3 boys, 2 girls) all alive j youngest 
eight years old. Tattooed as No. 4. Linen bound round 
elbow- joint to prevent chafing of heavy brass armlets. 
Cicatrices of sores in front of elbow-joint produced by 
armlets. 

Rudimentary whiskers and moustache, and long, strag- 
gling hairs on chin. Abundant development of hair on 
extensor surface of fore-arms. 

Conjunctivae injected. Long hairs directed upwards, 
uniting eyebrows across middle line- Ears pierced. Lobules 
not attached. 

14. Woman, aged 23. Father a Kuttan ; husband a 
Pekkan. One child (boy) three years old. Tattooed only 
below calves, and above ankles. 

Nose concave. Height 4*1 cm. ; breadth 3*1 cm. Broad 
throughout, and flat across bridge. Breadth between inner 
ends of eye-brows 2*5 cm. 

Upper eyelid turns down at inner angle, so as to 
partially cover caruncle. 

Broad lower jaw; bigoniac measuring 10 cm. (average= 
9-4 cm). 

15. Girl, aged 9-10. Hair in long curls (41 cm.), not 
shaved. Downy hairs on back, and extensor surface of 
fore-arm. Incipient moustache. Eye-brows united across 
middle line by long hairs directed upwards. Not reached 
puberty. 

Height 134-6 cm. 
Cephalic length 17*1 cm. 

„ breadth 13'3 cm. 
Bigoniac 9*1 cm. 
Bizygomatic 10*8 cm. 
Nasal height 3*6 cm. 

„ breadth 2*8 cm. 
Shoulders 287 cm. 
Span of arms 136*4 cm, 

29 



156 

Cubit 36-5 cm. 

Hand, length 14*8 cm. 

,, breadth 6*1 cm. 
Middle finger 9*4 cm. 
Foot length 20*5 cm. 

„ breadth 5*9 cm. 

The odorous abode of the Todas is called a mand (village 

~ ... . or hamlet) which is composed of huts, 

Dwelling places. , . ' _ r ■ w » 

dairy temple, and cattle-pen, and has 

been so well described by Dr. Shortt, that I cannot do 
better than quote his account verbatim. "Each mand," 
he says, <c usually comprises about five buildings or huts, 
three of which are used as dwellings, one as a dairy, and 
the other for sheltering the calves at night. These huts 
form a peculiar kind of oval pent-shaped construction, 
usually 10 feet high, 18 feet long, and 9 feet broad. The 
entrance or doorway measures 32 inches in height and 18 
inches in width, and is not provided with any door or gate ; 
but the entrance is closed by means of a solid slab or plank 
of wood from 4 to 6 inches thick, and of sufficient dimen- 
sions to entirely block up the entrance. This sliding door 
is inside the hut, and so arranged and fixed on two stout 
stakes buried in the earth, and standing to the height of 
2£ to 3 feet, as to be easily moved to and fro. There are 
no other openings or outlets of anv kind either for the 
escape of smoke or for the free ingress and egress of 
atmospheric air. The doorway itself is of such small 
dimensions that, to effect an entrance, one has to go down 
on all fours, and even then much wriggling is necessary 
before an entrance effected. The houses are neat in appear- 
ance, and are built of bamboos closely laid together, fas- 
tened with rattan, and covered with thatch which renders 
them water-tight. Each building has an end walling 
before and behind, composed of solid blocks of wood, and 
the sides are covered in by the pent-roofing which slopes 
down to the ground. The front wall or planking contains 
the entrance or doorway. The inside of a hut is from 8 to 
15 feet square, and is sufficiently high in the middle to 
admit of a tall man moving about with comfort. On one 
side there is a raised platform or pial formed of clay, about 
2 feet high, and covered with sambar (deer) or buffalo 
skins, or sometimes with a mat. This platform is used 
as a sleeping place. On the opposite side is a fire-place, 
and a slight elevation on which the cooking utensils are 
placed. In this part of the building faggots of firewood 



157 

are seen piled up from floor to roof, and secured in their 
place by loops of rattan. Here also the rice-pounder or 
pestle is fixed. The mortar is formed by a hole dug in 
the ground, 7 to 9 inches deep, and hardened by constant 
use. The other household goods consist of 3 or 4 brass 
dishes or plates, several bamboo measures, and sometimes 
a hatchet. Each hut or dwelling is surrounded by an 
enclosure or wall formed of loose stones piled up 2 to 3 
feet high, and includes a space or yard measuring 13 X 10 
feet. 

" The dairy, which is also the temple of the mand, is 
sometimes a building slightly larger than the others, and 
usually contains two compartments separated by a centre 
planking. One part of the dairy is a store-house for ghee, 
milk and curds, contained in separate vessels. The outer 
apartment forms the dwelling place of the pujari or palkarpal 
(dairy priest) . The doorways of the dairy are smaller than 
those of the dwelling huts, being 14x18 inches. The dairy 
or temple is usually situated at some little distance from the 
habitations, and strangers never attempt to approach too 
near it for fear of incurring the ill-will of the deity who is 
believed to preside within. Females are excluded, and the 
only parties who are free to come and go are the boys of 
the family. The flooring of the dairy is level, and at one 
end there is a fire place. Two or three milk pails or pots 
are all that it usually contains. 

" The huts where the calves are kept are simple build* 
ings somewhat like the dwelling huts. 

"In the vicinity of the mands are the cattle-pens or 
tuels, which are circular enclosures surrounded by a loose 
stone wall with a single entrance guarded by powerful 
wooden stakes. In these the herds of buffaloes are kept 
at night. Each mand possesses a herd of these animals." 

"When a girl has reached the age of puberty, she goes 
through an initiatory ceremony, and 
a man of strong physique decides whe- 
ther she is fit to enter into the married state. The selected 
man may subsequently marry the girl, or she may marry 
some one else^ whom she accepts as meeting with her 
approbation. A man who is betrothed to a girl may enjoy 
conjugal rights before marriage with a view to testing 
mutual liking or dislike before it is too late, but may not 
live in the same hut with her. 

No precautions are adopted to guard against pregnancy, 
and it is not viewed as a scandal if a girl becomes pregnant 



158 

before marriage. If a man suspects his fiancee* of being preg- 
nant by another, he may break off the engagement. The 
suspected man, if convicted, is not obliged to marry her. 

It appears to be regarded as a mild disgrace if a child 
is born before marriage, but the girl is not banished from 
her mand. 

If a married woman is found to be unfaithful to her 
husband, he may obtain a divorce, which is decreed by a 
panchayat, or council, of Todas (a rudimentary type of judge 
and jury), and send her back to her parents. She is per- 
mitted to marry again, provided that her new husband 
makes good, in money or buffaloes, the expenses incurred 
in connection with the first marriage ceremony. In case 
of adultery, when punishment short of divorce is desired, a 
fine of a buffalo may be inflicted by the panchayat, before 
whom the case comes up for hearing. 

It is considered a disgrace for a woman not to get mar- 
ried, and, if she does not succeed in securing a husband by 
the natural process of sexual selection, her father bribes 
a man to marry her by a present of a buffalo. In ordinary 
marriages the bride's father receives a dowry of five rupees 
from the bridegroom-elect. 

It is not looked on as a disgrace for a woman to be 
barren, but is attributed to bad luck, which may be reme- 
died by prayers and propitiatory offerings to the swami. If 
satisfied that his wife is barren, a man may take unto him- 
self a second wife, and live with both in one hut. Or his 
original wife may re-marry, if she can find a man ready to 
take her, provided that the expenses of her marriage with 
her first husband are refunded or made good, and jewelry 
returned. 

When a woman is left a widow (barudi) she may live 
with her sons, if grown up and capable of supporting her, 
or with a married daughter, if her husband does not object 
to the constant presence of his mother-in-law. If she is left 
with young children, she returns to her parents. Widows 
are permitted to marry again. The name barudi, it may 
be noted, is applied to old women, widows, and barren 
women. 

No test of virility or physical fitness is required of 
young men before entering into the married state, and no 
operation, e.g>, circumcision, is performed. 

Girls are said to reach puberty between the ages of ten 
and twelve, and frequently ' join their husband ' (to use 
the Toda phrase) about a year later* 



PL. XIII 








:*, ; .«if 




>■;? 



TODA WOMAN. 



159 

During menstruation a woman lives apart in a separate 
hut. No purificatory ceremonies are performed. 

When a woman discovers that she is pregnant with her 
first child, she removes the tali (marriage badge) from her 
neck, and puts it aside until the ceremony in celebration of 
the fifth month of her pregnancy called purs yet pimmi. To 
witness this, Todas are invited to the mand, and feasted on 
rice, milk, and molasses (jaggery). The woman's father 
promises his son-in-law a buffalo by name, which is sent as 
a present subsequently. Husband and wife then go to the 
forest, accompanied by their relatives and guests, and the 
husband sets off in search of a blade of grass and twig of a 
shrub (Saphora glauca), while the woman remains seated at 
the foot of a naga tree (Eugenia Arnottiana) near which a 
rude temporary hut has been erected. A triangular hole 
is cut in the tree a few feet above the ground, and a lighted 
lamp placed in the hole- The husband then asks his father- 
in-law, purs pul godvayi, ' Shall I tie the tali ? ' and, on re- 
ceiving assent to do so, places it round his wife's neck, and 
gives the grass and twig to her. After raising them to her 
head, the woman places them against the tree, under the 
lamp, and stands facing towards the tree until the lamp goes 
out. Meanwhile her husband ties up in a cloth some ragi 
{Eleusine Corocana) wheat, honey, samai (Panicum miliare) 
and gram (Gicer arietinum), and places them in a round hole 
in the tree beneath the lamp. He then prepares a meal 
for himself and his wife, which they partake of separately 
towards evening. The other Todas return to the husband's 
mand, where they " dine and sleep," going on the following 
morning to the forest to bring back the man and his wife 
to the mand. 

The twig and grass used in the above ceremony are 
made to represent a bow and arrow, and are, according 
to Mr. Natesa Sastri, placed in the niche along with the 
light, and the husband and wife observe it minutely for 
an hour. The bow and string in the form of a circle are 
afterwards tied round the neck of the woman, who is from 
this minute the recognised wife of the Toda who married 
her. The primitive marriage badge made from what the 
forest affords is retained only during that night. It is 
next morning replaced by a silver badge called kyavilli, 
between Es. 30 and Rs* 50 in value. 

" At any time before the birth of a child is expected, the 
husband or wife may sever their relationship from each other 
by a panchayat or council of elders, and by returning the put 
Jcudivan with any presents that one party has received from 



160 

another. Generally the presents do not take place till after 
a child is expected. When such an event seems certain, a 
ceremony called the ur vol pimmi takos place. This means 
the banishment from the house. On the first new moon day 
after this a spot is cleared out near the puzhar, in which rice 
with molasses is cooked in a new pot. An elderly woman 
rolls up a rag to the size of a small wick, dips it in oil, 
lights it up, and with the burning end scalds the woman's 
hands in four places — one dot at each of the lowest joints 
of the right and left thumbs, and one dot on each of the 
wrists. Then two stumps a foot high of the puvvu tree — 
(Rhododendron arboreum) — are prepared and rolled up in a 
black cumbly (a rough woollen cloth). These two stumps 
are called pirinbon and pirivon — he and she devils. Be- 
tween these two a lamp is placed on the ground, and lighted. 
Two balls of rice cooked in the new pot near the puzhar are 
then brought, and placed before the pirinbon and pirivon 
on a kakonda leaf. The top of the balls are hollowed, and 
ghee is profusely poured iuto each while the following 
incantation is repeated : — pirinbon pirivon podya — may 
the he-devil and the she-devil eat this offering ! This is 
something like the hhutabali offered by the Hindus to 
propitiate the evil deities. After this offering the woman 
takes her food, and continues to live for one month in the 
puzhar till the next new moon, when she is again brought 
back to her own mand." (S.M. Natesa Sastri.) 

A pregnant woman continues to live in the same hut as 
her husband until the time of delivery, and is then removed 
to a hut called puzhar, set apart for the purpose at a short 
distance from the mand, unless the mand possesses a boath 
(see p. 173), in which case the hut is situated at a distance 
of about two miles from the mand. 

A woman skilled in the duties of a midwife from the 
same or some other mand tends the parturient woman. If 
the midwife is a near relative, no remuneration is awarded 
in return for her services ; otherwise she receives board 
and lodging, and a present of a new putkuli. The woman's 
husband is not admitted into the hut during the time of 
delivery. 

The woman is delivered on her hands and knees, or lying 
backwards, supported on her hands. Death during, or as a 
sequel of parturition > is said to be very rare. The umbilical 
cord is tied and cut. 

If the child is born dead, or dies before it has taken the 
breast, it is buried. If, however, it has taken the breast^ it 
is burned^ and both green and dry ceremonies are performed. 






PL. XIV, 



^^Ipf 





TODA GIRL. 



161 

On the day after delivery, or as soon after as possible, a 
young buffalo calf is brought in front of the puzhar, and the 
father of the new-born babe goes to the forest to make two 
new bamboo measures. The woman comes out of the hut 
with her infant, and sits at a distance of some yards from 
the calf. The husband on his return fills one, and half fills 
the other measure with water. Holding the measure which 
is half full on the right side of the calf's hind- quarters, he 
pours water from the measure which is full down the animal's 
back, so that some of it trickles into the other measure. A 
Toda, who has obtained from the jungle a leaf of the palai 
tree (Mappia fcetida), places it in the hands of the woman. 
Her husband then pours water from one of the measures 
into the leaf, of which the woman drinks, and, if the child 
is a girl, puts a drop of water into its mouth. Man and 
wife, with the child, then return to the puzhar 7 where they 
live till the next new moon, when they return to their hut 
in the mand. A buffalo is then milked by a Toda belong- 
ing to the Pekkan clan. A leaf of the palai tree is placed in 
the woman's hand, and milk is poured into it by a female 
relative, and drunk by the woman. In the evening a feast is 
given to the Todas who have been present at the returning 
home ceremony. 

When the child has reached the third month of its ex- 
istence, 8 it is, if a boy, taken by its father, unaccompanied 
by its mother, early in the morning to the dairy temple 
(palchi) of the mand, before which the father prostrates 
himself, and offers up prayers to the swami. The child is 
named by a relative, e.g., its maternal uncle or grand-father, 
after a relative, god, buffalo, mountain peak, &c, but in after 
life a nick name, sometimes indecent, is given. " They 
have/' a friend writes to me, " curious nick names, these 
Todas. One little lad went by the name of ' Kacl eri/ i.e., 
public office. His elder brother, who was celebrated in the 
mand for his rendering of an interminable Badaga song, of 
which, one B&man — a veritable Launcelot — was the hero, 
rejoiced in the title of c Sirkar/ i.e., Government." The 
simple baptism ceremony is followed by a feast, of which the 
inhabitants of the mand take part. If the child is a girl, 
it is not taken to the palchi, but is merely named by its 
father. 



7 According to another version, the husband returns to his own hut, 
and does not live in the puzhar. 

8 Fortieth day according to another version. 



162 

The foregoing account of the post partum and naming 
oeremonies is recorded as it was narrated to me ; but they 
are treated of more fully by Mr. Natesa Sastri, who no doubt 
had greater ease than a European in eliciting information, 
and from whose account the following extract is taken : — 

"As soon as the childis born, the motherand baby are taken 
to a temporary hut (mand) built of sticks in a semi-circular 
form near a place in the general mand from which the Todas 
get their water-supply. A she-buffalo calf is brought before 
this hut, and the father of the child pours water on the left 
side of the calf between two sticks of the Nilgiri reed called 
odai, and the water is then collected in the hollow of a third 
reed stick. Then the mother and her new-born baby are 
made to sit in the temporary hut, and a leaf of kakonda tree 
(Mappia fcetida) , is placed on their heads, and the collected 
water in the reed is poured on the leaf with the following 
incantation : — Podar ner als pimi — I pour the sacred water 
over you. This answers to the jatakarmam of the Hindu, 
which should be performed as soon as the child is born, 
though it is the custom now-a-days to reserve this to a latter 
date . After this the mother and baby retire to the puzhar, 
where they live till the next new moon. On the morning of 
the new moon day all the buffaloes in the mand are milked, 
and the collected milk is kept without being used by any- 
body. At twilight the same evening, after all the cattle 
have been penned, an elderly woman in the mand proceeds 
to the puzhar with a little milk in her hand in a vessel called 
nak (alak ?) to bring the mother and baby to the father's 
house. A single leaf of the kakonda tree is given to the 
mother, which she holds in the form of a cup. The old 
woman pours into it three drops of milk. Each time a drop 
is poured, the mother raises the cup to her forehead, touches 
her hair with it, and drinks it off. Then the old woman 
conducts the mother and baby home, which is lighted up. 
From this moment the woman and the baby become members 
of the family. The Toda baby boy is wrapped up in a thick 
cotton cloth, called duppatti, and the face is never shown to 
any one. The mother feeds it till it is three months old. 
At the end of the third month a curious ceremony takes 
place called mutarderd pimmi, or opening the face ceremony, 
and it is as follows. Just before dawn on the third new moon 
day after the birth of the child, the father, who has not seen its 
face till then, takes it to the temple in the mand — the sacred 
dairy or palchi — and worships at the door as follows : — 



163 

Vishzht tonama — May the child be all right ! 
Tann nimma — May Grod protect him ! 
Sembor kumma — May he give him life t 
" After this prayer the father returns home with the child, 
and from this minute the wrapping up of the child's face 
ceases, and every one can look at it. 

M If the maternal uncle of the child is present, another 
ceremony is also conjoined with mutarderd pimmi. It is the 
giving of a name to the boy allied to the namakarana of the 
Hindus. 

" The ceremony of naming is called tezhantu pimmi. The 
uncle gives a name, and that is all. Then the ends of the 
hair of the baby are cut. A wild rose stick, called by the 
Toda kodag (Rosa leschnaultiana) , is brought from the 
forest, the hair of the boy is placed on it, and with a sharp 
knife the edges that rest on the stick are cut off, and care- 
fully preserved in a piece of cloth or paper tightly tied, and 
locked up in a box for three years. The reason for this, the 
Toda says, is that, if the bits are thrown away, and are used 
by the crows in building their nests, the head of the boy 
will never rest firm on his shoulders, but will always be 
shaky. After three years a deep pit is dug outside the 
limits of the mand, and the hair so carefully preserved is 
buried in it very carefully beyond the reach of the dreaded 
crow. When the boy is three years and three months old, 
the head is shaved, three locks of hair only being preserved. 
Two locks on the forehead are called meguti, and the third 
lock on the back of the head is called kut. This ceremony 
is called kut mad vas pimmi. All these rites are common to 
both male and female children born in a family. If the 
female child has an elder brother, she wears only the two 
front locks without the back one. If she is the first female 
child in the family — first in order of birth, or first surviving — 
she wears all the three locks. " 

Women are said to suckle their children from one to two 
years on an average. 

There is no superstition in connection with the birth of 
twins, though one man, whom I questioned on the subject, 
was inclined to attribute the dual birth to the practice of 
polyandry ; and I was reminded of the reply of a Ceylonese 
native to Professor Haeckel : — (< These people have always 
had a number of fathers, and, as they inherit all the bad 
qualities of so many fathers, it is only natural that they 
should grow worse and worse." 

In ' the Tribes inhabiting the Neilgherry hills/ 1856, by 
a German missionary, it is stated that " it is rarely that there 

23 



164 



are more than two or three children, and it is not at all an- 
uncouamon thing to find only a single child, while many 
families have none at all." Studied with reference to the 
above observation, which, it must be borne in mind, was 
written thirty-six years ago, the following statistics, gleaned 
in the course of my enquiries, are not without interest : — 



Age of 
woman. 


Male 
issue. 


Female 
issue. 


Eemarks. 


17 
25 

28 




1 


Seven months old. 


2 


1 
3 


Girl dead. 


Two living, aged twelve and eight. 


35 


3 


2 


Youngest two years old. All living. 


40 


2 


5 


One male, two females, alive. Youngest aged 
twelve. 


28 


4 




Two alive, aged six and a year and a half. 


22 




1 


Nine months old. 


30 


1 


4 


All dead, except eldest girl aged twelve. 


23 




2 


Both dead. 


23 


1 




Three years old. 


30 




4 


Youngest six years old. All living. 


40 


5 


5 


Only one alive, a female twenty-five years old 
(probably syphilitic). 


30 


1 


1 


Boy alive, six years old. 


30 


2 


2 


Youngest four years old. All living. 


30 


1 




Eight months old. 


35 


3 


2 


Youngest eight years old. All living. 


26 
30 


2 
2 


1 


Youngest two years old. Both alive. 


Youngest six years old. All living. 


26 
28 
30 






> No issue. 


29 

(20 living) 


34 

(19 living) 



PL. XV, 



Ullill 



: ; »:«f 




TODA MAN. 



165 



The Todas are endoganious as a tribe, and even as regards 

Intermarriage of clans. SOme of tlie five clans > viz ^ Kenna, 
Kuttan, Paiki, Pekkan and Todi, into 

which they are subdivided. Members of the different 
clans have no distinguishing dress or mark. Intermarriage 
between Paiki and Pekkan is said to be forbidden, but the 
remaining clans intermarry freely. Of twenty-seven cases 
examined by me, husband and wife belonged, as shown by 
the following tabular statement, to different clans in twenty- 
four, and to the same clan (Todi) in three cases only — 
figures which, as the cases were taken at random, demon- 
strate the prevalence of the custom of intermarriage between 
members of different clans : — 



Husband. 


Wife 


Number of 
cases. 


Kenna. 


Todi. 


7 


Kenna. 


Kuttan. 


2 


Kuttan. 


Kenna. 


2 


Kuttan. 


Todi. 


1 


Paiki. 


Todi. 


1 


Pekkan. 


Kuttan. 


1 


Pekkan. 


Todi. 


2 


Todi. 


Kenna. 


4 


Todi. 


Kuttan, 


3 


Todi. 


Pekkan. 


1 


Todi. 


Todi. 


3 



Breeks states that " Todas are divided into two classes, 
which cannot intermarry, viz. : — 

(1) Devalyal. 

(2) Tarserzhal. 

"The first class consists of the Peiki clan, correspond- 
ing in some respects to Brahmans ; the second of the four 
remaining clans, the Pekkan, Kuttan, Kenna and Todi. 

u The Peikis eat apart; and a Peiki woman may not go 
to a village of the Tarserzhal, although the women of the 
latter may visit Peikis/' 

In the course of my enquiries, two different stories were 
told in connection with the marriage of Paikis, and the classes 
into which the Todas are divided. According to one story, 
Paikis may become either palals or kaltamaks (herdsmen of 
the tirieri) , and a Paiki who has a right to become a kaltamak 
may marry into another clan, whereas a Paiki who has a 
right to become a palal may only marry into his own clan. 



166 

One girl I saw, a thirteen-year old bride of three months 
standing, belonging to the Todi clan, whose husband, a 
Paiki, had an hereditary right to become a kaltamak. 
According to the other story, Todas are divided into two 
classes, Tertal and Tartal, of which the former comprises 
superior Paikis who may become palals or kaltamaks, and 
are only permitted to marry into their own clan ; and the 
latter comprises Todis, Kennas, Kuttans, Pekkans, and in- 
ferior Paikis, who may marry into other clans, and cannot 
become either palals or kaltamaks. The man who gave me 
the latter version informed me further that, when a funeral 
ceremony is going on in the house of a Tertal, no Tartal 
is allowed to approach the mand ; and that, when a Tertal 
woman visits her friends at a Tartal mand, she is not 
allowed to enter the mand, but must stop at a distance from 
it. Todas as a rule cook their rice in butter milk, but, when 
a Tertal woman pays a visit to a Tartal mand, rice is cooked 
for her in water. vV hen a Tartal woman visits at a Tertal 
mand, she is permitted to enter into the mand, and food is 
cooked for her in butter milk. Males of either class may 
enter freely into the mands of the other class. The restric- 
tions which are imposed on Tertal women are said to be due 
to the fact that on one occasion a Tertal woman, on a visit 
at a Tartal mand, folded up a cloth, and placed it under 
her putkuli as if it was a baby. When food was served, she 
asked for some for the child, and, on receiving it, exhibited 
the cloth. The Tartals, not appreciating the mild joke, 
accordingly agreed to degrade all Tertal women. 

The religion of the Todas may be briefly summed up as 
Keligion. being a simple faith handed down from 

generation to generation, adulterated, 
in modern times, with an admixture of Hinduism. They 
worship Kadavul, the creator of the earth and sky, to whom 
they pray night and morning that he will protect their 
cattle, their wives and families. They also worship the 
rising (but not the setting) sun, and the moon. They be- 
lieve that the souls of the departed go, accompanied by 
the souls of the buffaloes killed at their funeral, to heaven 
(amnad) over Makurti peak, and that one who has led a 
good life will there have enjoyment, and one who has led a 
bad life will suffer punishment. They believe, in a half- 
hearted manner, the story handed down from their ancestors 
that on the road to heaven there is a river full of leeches 
(familiar pests to them during the rainy season), which has 
to be crossed by a thread, which will break beneath the 



167 

weight of a bad man and plunge him into hell (puferigen), 9 
but will carry a good man safely across. They believe 
further that a man who has led a bad life on earth returns 
thither in the guise of a giant or demon, who goes about 
killing Todas and other races. A good man is, in the Toda 
estimation, one who is given to deeds of charity, and a bad 
man one who is uncharitable (this in order of precedence), 
quarrelsome, thieving, &c. 

One woman I saw, who was unable to come and have her 
measurements recorded, as she was pregnant, and could not 
cross the bridge which spanned the intervening Paikara 
river ; to cross the running water during pregnancy being 
forbidden by the swami (god) who presides over the river. 
Another woman wore round her neck a copper plate wound 
into a spiral, on which mantras were inscribed. She had 
suffered, she informed me, from evil dreams when laid up 
with fever, and wore the plate to keep away dreams and 
threat enings from devils. 

The Todas reverence especially the hunting god Betakan 
(who was the son of Dirkhish, who was the son of En, who 
was the first Toda), who has a temple — Betakan swami kovil 
— at Nambalakod in the Wynad, and Hiriadeva, the bell-cow 
god, whose temple is at Melur, where Badagas perform the 
quaint and picturesque ceremony of walking through fire. 
They worship also the Hindu god Eanganatha at the tem- 
ples at Nanjengod in Mysore, and Karamaddi, near Mettu- 
palaiyam, at the base of the hills, offering up cocoanuts, 
plantains, &c. If a woman is barren, the husband, with or 
without his wife, makes a pilgrimage to the temple, and 
prays to the swami to give them offspring. My informant, 
whose wife had born him no children, had gone to the temple 
at NanjengSd about six months previously, and his wife was 
five months pregnant. The reputation of the shrine was 
consequently much enhanced, the woman's pregnancy being 
attributed to the intervention of the lingam (the phallic 
emblem). 

A man who came to my laboratory had his hair hanging 
down in long tails reaching below his shoulders. He had, 
he told me, let it grow long, because, though married to him 
five years, his wife had presented him with no child. A 
child had, however, recently been born, and as soon as the 
dry funeral (kedu) of a relation had been performed, he was 
going to sacrifice his locks as a thank-offering at the Nan- 
jengod shrine, where both Todas and Badagas worship. 

9 Puf, leech ; en, place ; gen, water. 



168 

So far as I have been able to ascertain, the Todas have 
only one purely religious ceremonial, which takes the form 
of a buffalo sacrifice, and is called kona shastra. This cere- 
mony is said to be performed once in four or five years, 10 
with a view to propitiating the gods, so that they may bring 
good luck to the Todas, and make their buffaloes yield milk 
in abundance. A round hole is dug in the ground, and 
filled with salt and water, which is drunk by the grown up 
buffaloes and a selected buffalo belonging to the mand 
which is celebrating the rite. The Toda men (women are 
not permitted to take part in the ceremony) who have been 
invited to be present are then fed. The buffalo calf is killed 
by a priest (varzhal or palikarpal), clad in a black putkuli 
round the waist, by a blow on the head with a stick made 
from a bough of the sacred tud tree (Meliosma pungens). 
The assembled Todas then salute the dead animal by placing 
their foreheads on its head. The flesh, I was informed, is 
given to Kotas, but Breeks n states that " the flesh must not 
be boiled, but roasted on a fire, made by rubbing together 
two sticks of the neralu, mutku, or kem trees, and eaten by 
the celeb rants." 

Writing in 1872, Breeks remarked u that " about Oota- 
eamund a few Todas have latterly begun to imitate the 
religious practices of their native neighbours. Occasion- 
ally children's foreheads are marked with the Siva spot, 
and my particular friend Kinniaven, after an absence of 
some days, returned with a shaven head from a visit to the 
temple of Siva at Nanjangudi." The following extracts 
from my notes will serve to illustrate the practice of mark- 
ing (which seems to be done in some instances ( for beauty's 
sake,' and not from any religious motive) and shaving as 
carried out at the present day. 

1. Man, aged 28. Has just performed a religious cere- 
mony at the tirieri (temple). White curved line painted 
across forehead, and dots below outer ends of curved line, 
glabella, and outside orbits (a common type of Badaga sect 
on mark). Smeared across chest, over outer side of upper 
arms and left nipple, across knuckles and lower end of left 
ulna, and on lobes of ears. 

2. Man, aged 21. Painted on forehead as above. 
Smeared over chest and upper eye lids. 

10 According to Breeks (Primitive Tribes of the Nilagiris) an annual 
ceremony . 

11 Op. cit, 12 Op, cit. 



PL. XVI 



~I 







•, it 




1 '§■ ' 






"%;: 


V, i : 




v 




: § m\ 


MAN. 


'■'/■ 


. 


TODA 







169 

8, Man, aged 35. White spot painted on forehead. 

4. Man, aged 30. Hair of head and beard cnt short 
owing to death of grandfather. 

5. Boy, aged 12. Shock-head of hair, cut very short 
all over owing to death of grandfather. 

6. Grirl, aged 8. Hair shaved on top, back and sides of 
head behind ears, and in median strip from vertex to fore- 
head. Wavy curls hanging down back and side of neck. 

7. Boy, aged 6. White spot painted between eyebrows. 
Hair shaved on top and sides of head, and in median strip 
from vertex to forehead. Hair brought forward infringe 
over forehead on either side of median strip, and hanging 
down back of neck. [This boy's cephalic length was very 
large for his age, being the same as the average length of 
the adult Toda woman's head (18*4 cm.).] 

8. Male child, aged 18 months. White spot painted be- 
tween eyebrows. Shaved on top and sides of head. Hair 
brownish-black, wavy. 

The Toda priesthood includes five kinds of priests (dairy- 
men), who rank as follows in order 
Priesthood. of precedence :~ 

(1) Palal (priests of the tirieris). 
. (2) Vorzhal. 

(3) Kokvalikarpal (at the Tarnat mand). 

(4) Kurpulikarpal (at the Kandal mand). 

(5) Palkarpal (called Tarvelikarpal at the TarnSt 

mand). 

Palal and Tirieri. — We visited a tirieri (dairy temple or 
lactarium) at Paikara by appointment, and on arrival near 
the holy spot, found the two palals (monks), well built men 
aged about thirty and fifty, respectively, clad in black 
cloths, and two kaltamaks (herdsmen) — youths aged about 
eight and ten — naked save for a lauguti, seated on the 
ground, awaiting our arrival. As a mark of respect to the 
palals the three Todas who accompanied us arranged their 
putktilis so that the right arm was laid bare, and one of 
them, who had assumed a turban in honour of his appoint- 
ment as my guide, removed the offending head-gear. A 
long palaver ensued in consequence of the palals demanding 
ten rupees to cover the expenses of the purificatory cere- 
monies which, they maintained, would be necessary if I 
desecrated the tirieri by photographing it. Eventually, 
however, under promise of a far smaller sum, the tirieri was 



170 

successfully photographed with palals, kaltamaks, and a 
domestic cat seated in front of it. 

A typical tirieri comprises a dwelling hut for the palals, 
a separate hut for the kaltamaks, a large and small cattle-pen 
(the latter for cow buffaloes in milk) for the sacred herd 
(swami mardu), and tirieri, or dairy temple, which contains 
the sacred bell (mani) and dairy appliances. No Todas, 
except palals and kaltamaks, are allowed within the tirieri 
grounds. 

The bell-cow is more sacred than the other members of 
the herd. On the decease of a bell-cow, the bell descends to 
her daughter, or, if she leaves no female offspring, a cow is 
brought from another tirieri. The bell- cow does not usu- 
ally wear the bell, but does so when a move is made to a 
distant tirieri, for the periodical change of pasture-ground. 

I interviewed a man, aged thirty-two, who had for- 
merly been a palal for four years, but, getting tired of celi- 
bate existence, resigned his appointment so as to take a wife 
to himself. He had recently been to Nanjengod to pray for 
a child to be given to him. His wife was pregnant, and his 
hair long, and hanging down below his shoulders. He told 
me that when the child was born, he would offer up thanks 
at the Nanjeng5d shrine, have his hair cut, and give a meal 
to a hundred Badagas and others. 

When a Toda is about to become a palal, he lives in the 
forest for two or three days and nights, naked except for a 
languti, feeds on one meal of rice daily, and* is allowed a 
fire to protect him from the cold night air. Many times 
during the two or three days he drinks, from a cup made of 
leaves, the juice of the bark of the tud tree (Meliosma 
pungens) obtained by hitting the bark with a stone. On 
the last day of retreat puja is done to a black cloth — the dis- 
tinguishing garb of a palal — which is carried by kaltamaks 
to the forest, and given to the novice, who spreads it on the 
ground, pours tud juice on it, and utters mantras over it, 
and goes clad in it direct to the tirieri. 

Before becoming a palal, a man must obtain sanction 
to hold office f rom a panchayat of leading Todas, who decide 
on his fitness to enter on the sacred duties. During the 
absence of a palal, if married, from his wife, she may be 
supported by her husband's brother, or by her sons, or is 
placed under the charge of a man (not of necessity a rela- 
tive) deputed by the palal, who defrays expenses, to take 
care of her, while he is off duty in his capacity as husband. 
A palal may resign office whenever he likes, on receipt of 



171 

permission from a panchayat to do so ; but eighteen years 
formerly, and ten to twelve years at the present day, are, I 
am told, the maximum time of service. On resigning, he 
returns to his mand, and is no longer regarded as a swami, 
descending abruptly from god-head to the routine life of a 
common Toda. 

When a man or youth is about to become a kaltamak, 
he retires for a day and night to the forest, naked save 
for a languti, and on the following morning drinks some 
juice of the tud tree, dons a white cloth, and is taken to 
the tirieri. While within the precincts of the tirieri, except 
in his own hut, he must go naked. No fixed time is allotted 
for service as a kaltamak, and a kaltamak may eventually 
become a palal. 

The duties of a palal are as follows. Early in the morn- 
ing he opens the cattle-pen, and sends the sacred herd out 
to graze, in the charge of the kaltamak. After ablution, he 
enters within the tirieri, and performs puja to the bell-god. 
About 7-30 or 8 a.m. he comes out of the tirieri, ties a 
black cloth round his waist, and salutes the herd, which has 
returned from grazing, by raising his wand and bamboo 
measure (khandi) to his head, and milks the cows. After 
milking, the buffaloes are again sent out to graze, and the 
milk is taken to the tirieri, where further pujas are per- 
formed. On entering the tirieri, the palal dips his fingers 
in milk three times, puts his fingers on the bell-god, and 
apparently utters the names of some gods, but my inform- 
ant (an ex-palal) was hazy about their names. The morning 
meal is then cooked for both palal and kaltamaks. Every 
three or four days the palal makes butter and ney. 
Between 4 and 5 p.m. the buffaloes return home, and are 
penned for the night. Then follow more pujas, the eveniug 
meal, and retirement for the night. 

On some days a palal may have to attend a panchayat 
at some distance from the tirieri, whereat he acts as judge, 
enquiring into cases aud delivering judgment, which is ac- 
cepted by the other members of the panchayat. Or the mem- 
bers of the panchayat may assemble outside the precincts of 
the tirieri, at some distance from the palal, but within range 
of hearing. 

Milk, butter, and ney are purchased from the tirieri by 
To das and Badagas, The palal brings the buffalo produce 
outside the- sacred precincts, keeping the intending pur- 
chasers at a distance, and, when he has returned to the 

24 



172 

trieri, the produce is removed, and its value in money left 
in its stead. 

If there are more bulls than are required in the sacred 
herd, the surplus stock is given as a perquisite to the kal- 
tamaks, and sold to Badagas or Todas. The flesh of dead 
members of the herd is given as a present to Kofcas. 

The following information relating to the priests of 
the Kandal and Tarnat mands was extracted with great 
difficulty. 

At the .Kandal mand there are two dairy temples called 
kurpuli and orzhalli. The priests are called kurpullikar- 
pal and vorzhal. The former is a Kenna, paid six rupees 
per annum, and selected for office by the head-man of the 
mand. His duties are to graze and milk the buffaloes be- 
longing to his temple, to make butter and ney, to distribute 
the produce among the inhabitants of the mand, and per- 
form pujas in the temple. He is subject to the control of 
the head-man of the mand, and has to obey his orders to go 
to bazars, villages, &c. The vorzhal is also selected by the 
head-man of the mand, and must be a Paiki or Pekkan. He 
is paid six rupees per annum, and his duties are similar to 
those of the kurpulikarpal, but he may not go away from the 
mand to bazars or villages. During the absence of the 
kurpulikarpal, he may milk the buffaloes of the kurpuli ; 
but the kurpulikarpal, being inferior in rank, is not allowed 
to milk the buffaloes of the orzhalli. Neither of the two 
priests is bound to remain in office for a fixed time, but may 
resign on being relieved by a successor. So long as they 
remain in office, they are bound to a life of celibacy, but a 
married man may hold office, provided that he keeps apart 
from his wife. 

At the Tarnat mand there are three dairy temples called 
kokveli, tarveli, and orzhalli. The priests attached to the 
temples are called, respectively, kokvelikarpal, tarvelikarpal, 
and vorzhal. Each temple has its own buffaloes. The 
kokvelikarpal milks the buffaloes, and sells the produce 
apparently for his own benefit. He is only allowed to re- 
main in office for three years and is succeeded by his 
brother ; the office remaining, by hereditary right, in one 
family. 

The tarvelikarpal and vorzhal milk the buffaloes be- 
longing to their respective temples, and distribute the pro- 
duce among the inhabitants of the mand. The vorzhal is 
paid six rupees per annum. All three priests have to per- 
form pujas in their temples in addition to dairy duties. 



PL. XVII 





TODA BOY. 



17S 

In addition to the palchis and tirieris the Todas keep 
up as dairy-temples certain edifices 
called b oaths or boas. Of these curious 
structures there are four on the Nilgiri plateau, viz., at the 
Muttanad mand, near Kotagiri, near Sholur, and at Mudi- 
mand. The last was out of repair in 1894, but was, I was 
informed, going to be rebuilt shortly. 

It has been suggested by Colonel Marshall 13 that the boath 
is not a true Toda building, but may be the bethel of some 
tribe contemporaneous with, and cognate to the Todas, 
which, taking refuge, like them, on these hills, died out 
in their presence ; and he compares them with the build- 
ings, similar to the bothan or bee-hive houses in Scotland, 
which were discovered by the Rev. F. W. Holland in his 
explorations in the peninsula of Sinai. 

The boath which we visited near the Muttanad mand, at 
the top of the Sigur ghat, is known to members of the 
Ootacamund hunt as the Toda cathedral. It is a circular 
stone edifice, about 25 to 30 feet in height, with a thatched 
roof, and surrounded by a circular stone wall. The roof 
is crowned with a large flat stone. To penetrate within the 
sacred edifice was forbidden, but we were informed that it 
contains milking vessels, dairy apparatus, and a swami in 
the guise of a copper bell. Within the building no one is 
admitted except the pujari (dairyman priest), who is called 
a vorzhal. The present incumbent, who was out on the 
downs with the buffaloes at the time of our visit, was 
selected for office by the head-man of the village and his 
brother, and had been in office from ten to fifteen years. 

In front of the cattle-pen of the neighbouring mand I 
noticed a grass covered mound, which, I was informed, is 
sacred. The mound contains nothing buried within it, but 
the bodies of the dead are placed near it, and earth from 
the mound placed on the corpse (dust to dust), which is then 
removed to the burning ground. At dry funerals the 
buffalo is slain near the mound. 

On the death of a Toda, the corpse, clad in a new putkuli 

and decorated with jewelry, in which 
Death ceremonies. ^ gick pergon ha3 been dmjged up 

when signs of approaching dissolution set in, is laid out in the 
hut. Marshall narrates the story that a man who had revived 
from what was thought his death-bed has been observed 

18 Op. cit. 



174 

parading about, very proud and distinguished looking ; 
wearing the finery with which he had been bedecked for his 
own funeral, and which he would be permitted to carry till 
he really departed this life. A lamp is kept burning in the 
hut, and camphor used as a disinfectant. The news of the 
death are conveyed to other mands, the inhabitants of 
which join with the relatives of the departed one in weep- 
ing and mourning. Those who come to pay their respects 
to the dead body commence the customary signs of active 
grief when they have arrived within a short distance of the 
hut, on entering which they place their head to the head, 
and then their feet to the feet of the corpse, and mourn in 
company with the relatives. On the day of death, none of 
the inhabitants of the mand, or visitors from other mands, 
are allowed to eat food. On the following day meals, pre- 
pared by near relatives of the deceased, are served in 
another hut. The near relatives are forbidden to eat rice, 
milk, honey, or gram, until the funeral is over, but may eat 
ragi, samai, butter, and ghi. If the head-man of a mand 
dies, the sons, and, if the head-woman dies, the daughters 
have, I was told, to observe the same rules as to diet until 
the dry funeral is performed. 

When a man dies, a bow and arrow obtained from the 
Kotas, his walking stick, jaggery, rice, honey, cocoanuts, 
plantains, tobacco, a bamboo khandi (measure), and cowries, 
with which to purchase food in the celestial bazar, are 
burned with him. Bags of rupees are, as a mere form, 
placed on the funeral pyre, but removed before the flames 
reach them. 

When a woman dies, cooking and household utensils, 
jewelry, and articles of food, thread, and cowries are burned, 
and bags of rupees placed on the pyre. 

The remains of gold and silver jewelry are recovered 
from the ashes, and made up again into jewelry. 

It was my good fortune to have an opportunity of wit- 
Dry funeral, nessing the dry funeral ceremony (kedu) 
of a woman who had died from small- 
pox two months previously. On arrival at a mand, on the 
open downs about five miles from Ootacamund, we were 
conducted by a Toda friend to the margin of a dense shola, 14 
(grove) where we found two groups seated apart, consisting 
of {a) women, girls, and brown-haired female babies, chat- 



14 Owing to the performance of rites in sacred groves it has been sug- 
gested that the Toda religion is Druidical or Celto-druidical. 



PL. XVII! 




§ 



- ferf i*ti&: ±**zJfr&&t®#. 




TODA MAN. 



175 

ting round a camp fire ; (b) men,, boys, and male babies 
carried, with marked signs of paternal affection, by their 
fathers. The warm copper hue of the little girls and young 
adults stood out in noticeable contrast to the dull, muddy 
complexion of the elder women. 

In a few minutes a murmuring sound commenced in the 
centre of the female group. Working themselves up to the 
necessary pitch, some of the women (near relatives of the 
dead woman) commenced to cry freely, and the wailing and 
lachrymation gradually spread round the circle, until all, 
except little girls and babies who were too young to be 
affected, were weeping and moaning, some for fashion, 
others from genuine grief. The men meanwhile showed no 
signs of sorrow, but sat talking together, and expressed 
regret that we had not bought the hand dynamometer, to 
amuse them with trials of strength. 

In carrying out the orthodox form of mourning, the 
women first had a good cry to themselves, and then, as their 
emotions became more intense, went round the circle, 
selecting partners with whom to share companionship in 
grief. Gradually the group resolved itself into couplets of 
mourners, each pair with their heads in close contact, and 
giving expression to their emotions in unison. Before 
separating, to select a new partner, each couple saluted by 
bowing the head and raising the feet of the other, covered 
by the putkuli, thereto. 

From time to time the company of mourners was rein- 
forced by late arrivals from distant mands, and, as each 
detachment, now of men, now of women, came in view 
across the open downs, one could not fail to be reminded of 
the gathering of the clans on some Highland moor. The 
resemblance was heightened by the distant sound as of 
pipers, produced by the Kota band (with two police consta- 
bles in attendance), composed of four truculent-looking Kotas, 
who made a hideous noise with drums and flutes as they drew 
near the scene of action. The band, on arrival, took up a 
position close to the mourning women. As each detach- 
ment arrived, the women, recognising their relatives, came 
forward and saluted them in the manner customary among 
Todas by falling at their feet and placing first the right 
then the left foot on their head (ababuddiken). 

Shortly after the arrival of the band, signals were ex- 
changed, by waving of putktilis, between the assembled 
throng and a small detachment of men some distance off. 
A general move was made, and an impromptu procession 



176 

formed,, with men in front, band in the middle, and women 
bringing up the rear. A halt was made opposite a narrow 
gap leading into the shola ; men and women sat apart as 
before, and the band walked round, discoursing unsweet 
music A party of girls went olf to bring fire from the spot 
just vacated for use in the coming ceremonial, but recourse 
was finally had to a box of tandstikers lent by one of our 
party. At this stage of the proceedings we noticed a 
woman go up to the eldest son of the deceased, who was 
seated apart from the other men crying bitterly, and would 
not be comforted in spite of her efforts to console him. 

On receipt of a summons from within the shola, the 
assembled Toda men and ourselves swarmed into it by a 
narrow track leading to a small clear space around a big 
tree, from a hole cut at the base of which an elderly Toda 
produced a piece of the skull of the dead woman, wrapped 
round with long tresses of her hair. It now became the 
men's turn to exhibit active signs of grief, and all with one 
accord commenced to weep and mourn. Amid the scene of 
lamentation, the hair was slowly un wrapt from off the skull, 
and burned in an iron ladle, from which a smell as of 
incense arose. A bamboo pot of ghl (clarified butter) was 
produced, with which the skull was reverently anointed, 
and placed in a cloth spread on the ground. To this relic 
of the deceased the throng of men, amid a scene of wild ex- 
citement, made obeisance by kneeling down before it, and 
touching it with their foreheads. The females were not 
permitted to witness this stage of the proceedings, with the 
exception of one or two near relatives of the departed one, 
who supported themselves sobbing against the tree. 

The ceremonial concluded, the fragment of skull, wrapt 
in the cloth, was carried into the open, where, as men and 
boys had previously done, women and girls made obeisance 
to it. 

A procession was then again formed, and marched" on 
until a place was reached, where were two stone-walled 
kraals, large and small. Around the former the men, and 
within the latter the women, took up their position, the men 
engaging in chit-chat, and the women in mourning, whioh 
after a time ceased, and they too engaged in conversation, 
one of their number (a Toda beauty) entertaining the rest 
by exhibiting a photograph of herself, with which I had 
presented her. 

A party of men, carrying the skull, still in the cloth, 
set out for a neighbouring shola, where a k§du of several 



177 

other dead Todas was being celebrated ; and a long pause 
ensued, broken eventually by the arrival of the other funeral 
party, the men advancing in several lines, with arms linked, 
keeping step and crying out a !, u !, a !, u !, in regular time. 
This party brought with it pieces of the skulls of a woman 
and two men, which were placed, wrapt in cloths, on the 
ground, saluted, and mourned over by the assembled 
multitude. At this stage a small party of Kotas arrived, 
and took up their position on a neighbouring hill, waiting, 
vulture-like, for the carcase of the buffalo which was shortly 
to be slain. 

Several young men now went off across the hill in 
search of buffaloes, and speedily re-appeared, driving five 
buffaloes before them with sticks. As soon as the beasts 
approached a swampy marsh at the foot of the hill, on which 
the expectant crowd of men was gathered together, two 
young men of athletic build, throwing off their putkulis, 
made a rush down the hill, and tried to seize one of the buf- 
faloes by the horns, with the result that one of them was 
promptly thrown. The buffalo escaping, one of the remain- 
ing four was quickly caught by the horns, and, with arms 
interlocked, the men brought it down on its knees, amid a 
general scuffle. In spite of marked objection and stre- 
nuous resistance on the part of the animal — a barren Cow— - 
it was, by means of sticks freely applied, slowly dragged up 
the hill, preceded by the Kota band, and with the ' third 
standard ' student pulling at its tail. Arrived at the open 
space between the two kraals, the buffalo, by this time 
thoroughly exasperated, and with blood pouring from its 
nostrils, had a cloth put on its back, and was despatched by a 
blow on the poll with an axe deftly wielded by a young and 
muscular man (pi. xv). On this occasion no one was badly 
hurt by the sacrificial cow, though one man was seen wash- 
ing his legs in the swamp after the preliminary struggle 
with the beast; but Colonel Eoss-King narrates 15 how he 
saw a man receive a dangerous wound in the neck from a 
thrust of the horn, which ripped open a wide gash from 
the collar bone to the ear. 

With the death of the buffalo, the last scene which ter- 
minated the strange rites commenced ; men, women, and 
children pressing forward and jostling one another in their 
eagerness to salute the dead beast by placing their heads 
between its horns, and weeping and mourning in pairs ; the 

15 Aboriginal Tribes of the Nilgiri Hills, 187CV 



178 

facial expression of grief being mimicked when tears 
refused to slow spontaneously. 

A few days after the kedu ceremony we were invited to 

r , v , be present at the green funeral of a 

Green 1 uneral. . .f ,, 8 , , , , . -. £ 

girl, five years old, who had died or 

small-pox four days previously. We proceeded accord- 
ingly to the scene of the recent ceremony, and there, in 
company with a small gathering of Todas from the neigh- 
bouring mands (among them the only white-haired old 
woman whom I have seen), awaited the arrival of the 
funeral cortege, the approach of which was announced by 
the advancing strains of Kota music. Slowly the proces- 
sion came over the brow of the hill ; the corpse, covered 
by a cloth, on a rude ladder-like bier, borne on the 
shoulders of four men, followed by two Kota musicians ; the 
mother carried hidden within a sack ; relatives and men 
carrying bags of rice and jaggery (molasses), and bundles 
of wood of the naga tree (Eugenia Amottiana) for the 
funeral pyre. 

Arrived opposite a small hut, which had been specially 
built for the ceremonial, the corpse was removed from the 
bier, laid on the ground, face upwards, outside the hut, and 
saluted by men, women, and children, with same manifesta- 
tions of grief as at the dry funeral. Soon the men moved 
away to a short distance, and engaged in quiet conversation, 
leaving the females to continue mourning round the corpse, 
interrupted from time to time by the arrival of detachments 
from distant mands, whose first duty was to salute the dead 
body. Meanwhile a near female relative of the dead child 
was busily engaged inside the hut, collecting together in a 
basket small measures of rice, jaggery, sago, honey-comb, 
and the girl's simple toys, which were subsequently to be 
burned with the corpse. 

The mourning ceasing after a time, the corpse was 
placed inside the hut, and followed by the near relatives, 
who there continued to weep over it. A detachment of 
men and boys, who had set out in search of the buffaloes 
which were to be sacrificed, now returned driving before 
them three cows, which escaped from their pursuers to re-join 
the main herd. A long pause ensued, and, after a very 
prolonged drive, three more cows were guided into a swampy 
marsh, where one of them was caught by the horns as at 
the kedu ceremony, and dragged reluctantly, but with little 
show of fight, to the weird strains of Kota drum and flute ; 



PL. XIX 



"- •'.- 



~~ — 




#m 







/>\ 









TODA MAN 



179 

in front of the hut, where it was promptly despatched by a 
blow on the poll. 

The corpse was now brought from within the hut, and 
placed, face upwards, with its feet resting on the forehead 
of the buffalo, whose neck was decorated with a silver chain, 
such as is worn by Todas round the loins to suspend the 
languti, as no bell was available, and the horns were smeared 
with butter. Then followed the same frantic manifestations 
of grief as at the kedu, amid which the unhappy mother 
fainted from sheer exhaustion. 

Mourning over, the corpse was made to go through a 
form of ceremony, resembling that which is performed at 
the fifth month of pregnancy with the first child. A small 
boy, three years old, was selected from among the relatives 
of the dead girl, and taken by his father in search of a 
certain grass and a twig of a shrub (Sophora glauca), which 
were brought to the spot where the corpse was lying. The 
mother of the dead child then withdrew one of its hands 
from the putkuli, and the boy placed the grass and twig 
in the hand, and limes, plantains, rice, jaggery, honey- 
comb, and butter in the pocket of the putkuli, which was 
then stitched with needle and thread in a circular pattern. 
The boy's father then took off his son's putkuli, and covered 
him with it from head to foot. Thus covered, the boy 
remained outside the hut till the morning of the morrow, 
watched through the night by near relatives of himself and 
his dead bride. 

[On the occasion of the funeral of an unmarried lad, a 
girl is, in like manner selected, covered with her putkuli 
from head to foot, and a metal vessel, filled with jaggery, 
rice, etc. (to be subsequently burnt on the funeral pyre), 
placed for a short time within the folds of the putkuli. Thus 
covered, the girl remains till next morning, watched through 
the dreary hours of the night by relatives. The same cere- 
mony is performed over the corpse of a married woman, 
who has not borne children, the husband acting as such for 
the last time, in the vain hope that the woman may produce 
issue in heaven.] 

The quaint ceremonial concluded, the corpse was borne 
away to the burning- ground within the shola, and, after 
removal of some of the hair by the mother of the newly 
wedded boy, burned, with face turned upwards, 16 amid 

16 Marshall states that he was ' ' careful to ascertain that the placing 
the body with its face downwards had not been an accidental circum- 
stance,'' 

25 



180 

the music of the Kota band, the groans of the assembled 
crowd squatting on the ground, and the genuine grief of the 
nearest relatives. 

The burning concluded, a portion of the skull was 
removed from the ashes, and handed over to the recently 
made mother-in-law of the dead girl, and wrapped up with 
the hair in the bark of the tud tree. 

A second buffalo, which, properly speaking, should have 
been slain before the corpse was burnt, was then sacrificed, 
and rice and jaggery were distributed among the crowd, 
which dispersed, leaving behind the youthful widower and 
his custodians, who, after daybreak, partook of a meal of 
rice, and returned to their mands ; the boy's mother taking 
with her the skull and hair to her mand, where it would 
remain until the celebration of the dry funeral. 

No attention is paid to the ashes after cremation, but 
they are left to be scattered by the winds. 

At the Muttanad mand we were 
Games. treated to an exhibition of the games 

in which adult males indulge. 

In one of these, called narthpimi, a flat slab of stone is 
supported horizontally on two other slabs fixed perpendicu- 
larly in the ground so as to form a narrow tunnel, through 
which a man can just manage to squeeze his body with 
difficulty. Two men take part in the game, one stationing 
himself at a distance of about thirty yards, the other about 
sixty yards from the tunnel. The front man, throwing off 
his cloth, runs as hard as he can to the tunnel, pursued by 
the ' scratch ' man, whose object is to touch the other man's 
feet before he has wriggled himself through the tunnel. 

Another game, which we witnessed, consists of trials of 
strength with a very heavy stone, the object being to raise 
it up to the shoulder ; but a strong, well-built man — he who 
was entrusted with slaying the buffalo at the kedu — failed to 
raise it higher than the pit of his stomach, though straining 
his muscles in the attempt. An old man assured us that, 
when young and lusty, he was able to accomplish the feat. 

A still further game (ilata) corresponds to the English 
tip-cat, which is epidemic at a certain season in the London 
bye-streets. It is played with a bat like a broom-stick, and 
a cylindrical piece of wood pointed at both ends. This piece 
of wood is propped up against a stone, and struck with the 
bat. As it flies up off the stone, it is hit to a distance with 
the bat, and caught (or missed) by the out-fields. At this 
game my Toda guide was very expert. 



181 

Breeks mentions that the Todas play a game resembling 
' puss in the corner ' and called karialapimi, which was not 
included in the programme of sports got up for our benefit. 

We gave a demonstration of ' putting the stone/ and, if 
some future anthropologist finds this to be one of the Toda 
athletic sports, he must attribute its introduction to direct 
British influence. 

I was informed that, in former times, certain men among 
the Todas were credited with the 
power to cast out devils by treatment 
with herbs, and that devils are still cast out of Todas who 
are possessed with them by certain Badaga and Hindu 
exorcists. The Todas treat mild cases of sickness with 
herbs, and a red stone purchased in the Ootacamund bazar ; 
but serious cases are treated at the Ootacamund hospital. 

The Todas scornfully deny the use of aphrodisiacs, but 
both men and women admit that they take salep misri 
boiled in milk e to make them strong/ It is stated in the 
1 Pharmacographia Indica ' (1893) that the " salep of Madras 
is largely supplied from the Nilgiris, where it is collected 
by the Todas and other hill tribes." The district forest 
officer of the Nilgiris writes, however, more recently that 
there is now little or no trade, as the digging up of the 
roots has been prohibited in the reserve forests. 

Salep misri, it may be mentioned, is made from the 
tubers (testicles de chien) of various species of Eulophia 
and Orchis, belonging to the natural order Orchideae. 

When a Toda meets a Badaga he bends down, and the 
Badaga, as a form of greeting and sign 
^Relations with other of super iority, places his hand on the 
top of the Todays head. The Todas 
believe that their tribe has always dwelt on the Nilgiris, and 
that the other tribes came up from the plains. When the 
Badagas arrived on the hills, they put under cultivation 
land which previously belonged to the Todas (who claim to 
have originally owned the whole of the Nilgiris). As ' com- 
pensation allowance,' the Badagas give grain of various 
kinds (gudu) to the Todas in proportion to the abundance of 
the crop, only objecting, it is said, to do so when the crop 
is short. But there is reason to believe that the Badaga is 
not inclined to give as freely at the present day as in times 
gone by, and the Toda is commencing to be thrown on 
his own resources as a means of gaining the equivalent of 
his daily bread. 



182 

Some years ago a Toda was found dead, in a sitting 
posture, on the top of a hill near a Badaga village, to which 
a party of Todas had gone to collect the tribute. The body 
was burned, and a report then made to the police that the 
man had been murdered. On enquiry it was ascertained 
that the dead man was supposed to have bewitched a little 
Badaga girl, who died in consequence ; and the presump- 
tion was that he had been murdered by the Badagas out of 
revenge. 

When a Toda meets a Kota, the latter kneels and raises 
the feet of the Toda to his head. From the Kotas the Todas 
acquire their iron implements (axes, mamutis, knives, &c.) 
and earthenware utensils. No payment in money is made, 
but, when a buffalo dies, the Kotas, who are eaters of carrion, 
are rewarded with the flesh, hide and horns. The Kotas 
supply the band at Toda tamashas, e.g., green and dry 
funerals ; the musicians being paid in buffaloes and rice. 

When a Toda meets a Kurumbar, the latter bends 
forward, and the Toda places his hand on the Kurumbar's 
head. The Todas and Kurumbars are not on good terms, 
and the Todas are afraid of them, because they are believed 
to be sorcerers, and to possess the power of casting the 
evil eye on them, and making them fall sick or die. My 
Toda guide— a stalwart representative of his tribe — expressed 
fear of walking alone from Ootacamund to Kotagiri, a dis- 
tance of eighteen miles along a good road, lest he should 
come to grief at the hands of Kurumbars ; but this was, as 
the sequel showed, a frivolous excuse to get out of accom- 
panying me to a distance from his domestic hearth. The 
Kurumbars, when they come up to the plateau to get grain 
from the Badagas, apparently levy black mail on the Todas, 
and, if they demand money or buffaloes, the Todas dare not 
refuse to disgorge. 

A Toda meeting an Irula is saluted in the same way as 
by a Kurumbar ; but, so far as I can gather, there is but 
little communication between the Todas and Irulas. 

The tenure under which lands are held by the Todas 
m „ , , is summed up as follows by Mr. B. S. 

Tenure of land. _ • i • ,i 

Benson in his report on the revenue 
settlement of the Nilgiris, 1885. " The earliest settlers, 
and notably Mr. Sullivan, strongly advocated the claim of 
the Todas to the absolute proprietary right to the plateau ; 
but another school, led by Mr. Lushington, as strongly 
combated these views, and apparently regarded the Todas 
as merely occupiers under the ryotwari system in force 



PL XX 




Q 
< 

< 



H 



188 

generally in the presidency. From the earliest times the 
Todas have received from the cultivating Badagas an offer- 
ing, or tribute, called ' gudu,' or basket of grain, partly 
in compensation for the land taken up by the latter for 
cultivation, and so rendered unfit for grazing purposes, but 
chiefly as an offering to secure the favour, or avert the dis- 
pleasure, of the Todas, who, like the Kurumbas, are believed 
by the Badagas, to have necromantic powers over their 
healths and that of their herds. The European settlers 
also bought land in Ootacamund from them, and to this 
day the Government pays them the sum of Rs. 150 per 
annum, as compensation for interference with the enjoyment 
of their pastoral rights in and about Ootacamund. Their 
position was, however, always a matter of dispute, until 
it was finally laid down in the despatch of the Court of 
Directors, dated 21st Jauuary, 1843. It was then decided 
that the Todas possessed nothing more than a prescriptive 
right to enjoy the privilege of pasturing their herds, on 
payment of a small tax, on the State lands. The Court 
desired that they should be secured from interference 
by settlers in the enjoyment of their munds (or village 
sites), and of their spots appropriated to religious rights. 
Accordingly pattas were issued, granting to each mand 
three bullahs (1146 acres) of land. In 1863 Mr. Grant ob- 
tained permission to make a fresh allotment of nine bullahs 
(34*38 acres) to each mund on the express condition that 
the land should be used for pasturage only, and that no 
right to sell the land or the wood on it should be thereby 
conveyed. It may be added that the so-called Toda lands 
are now regarded as the inalienable common property of the 
Toda community, and unauthorized alienation is checked 
by the imposition of a penal rate of assessment (CO., 18th 
April, 1882). Up to the date of this order, however, 
alienations by sale or lease were of frequent occurrence. 
It remains to be seen whether the present orders and 
subordinate staff will be more adequate than those that 
went before to check the practices referred to.'' 

With the view of protecting the Toda lands, Grovern- 
ment took up the management of these lands in 1893, and 
framed rules under the Forest Act for their management, 
the rights of the Todas over them being in no way affected 
by the rules, of which the following is an abstract : — 

1. No person shall fell, girdle, mark, lop, uproot, or burn 
or strip off the bark or leaves from, or otherwise damage 
any tree growing on the said lands, or remove the timber, 



184 

or collect the natural produce of such trees or lands, or 
quarry or collect stone, lime, gravel, earth or manure upon 
such lands, or break up such lands for cultivation, or erect 
buildings of any description or cattle kraals ; and no person or 
persons, other than the Todas named in the patta concerned, 
shall graze cattle, sheep, or goats upon such lands, unless he 
is authorised so to do by the Collector of the Nilgiris, or 
some person empowered by him. 

2. The Collector may select any of the said lands to be 
placed under special fire protection. 

3. No person shall hunt, beat for game, or shoot in such 
lands without a license from the Collector. 

4. No person shall at any time set nets, traps, or snares 
for game on such lands. 

5. All Todas in the Nilgiri district shall, in respect of 
their own patta lands, be exempt from the operation of the 
above rules, and shall be at liberty to graze their own 
buffaloes, to remove fuel and grass for their domestic require- 
ments, and to collect honey or wax upon such lands. They 
shall likewise be entitled to, and shall receive free permits 
for building or repairing their munds and temples. 

6. The Collector shall have power to issue annual permits 
for the cultivation of grass land only in Toda pattas by 
Todas themselves, free of charge, or otherwise as Govern- 
ment may, from time to time, direct; but no Toda shall be 
at liberty to permit any person, except a Toda, to cultivate, 
or assist in the cultivation, of such lands. 



PL. XX! 



.'-;--'••,.:;;',, ,r" i 





KOTA MAN. 



185 



II.— THE KOTAS OF THE NILGIKIS. 



Accobding to Dr. Oppert " it seems probable that the 
Todas and Kotas lived near each other before the settle- 
ment of the latter on the Nllagiri. Their dialects betray 
a great resemblance. According to a tradition of theirs 
(the Kotas), they lived formerly on Kollimallai, a mountain 
in Mysore. It is wrong to connect the name of the Kotas 
with cow slaying, and to derive it from the Sanskrit go- 
hatya (cow-killer). The derivation of the term Kota is, as 
clearly indicated, from the Grauda-Dra vidian word ko (ku), 
mountain, and the Kotas belong to the Graudian branch." 

The Kotas were returned at the census of 1891 as num- 
bering 1,201 (556 males and 645 females) against 1,062 (498 
males and 564 females) in 1881. They inhabit seven 
villages, of which six — Kotagiri (or Peranganad), Kil-Kota- 
giri, Todanad, Mekanad, Kundanad, and Sholur — are situ- 
ated on the plateau, and one is at Gudalur in the Wynad, 
on the northern slopes of the Nllgiris. They form large 
communities, and each village consists of thirty to sixty or 
more detached huts and rows of huts arranged in streets. 
The huts are built of mud, brick, or stone, roofed with 
thatch or tiles, and divided into living and sleeping apart- 
ments. The floor is raised above the ground, and there is a 
verandah in front with a seat on each side, whereon the Kota 
loves to take his siesta, and smoke his cheroot in the shade, 
or sleep off the effects of a drinking bout. The door-posts 
of some of the huts are ornamented with carving executed 
by wood carvers in the plains. A few of the huts and one 
of the forges at Kotagiri have stone pillars sculptured with 
fishes, lotuses, and floral embellishments by stone carvers 
from the plains. 

The Kotas have no caste, but are divided into kens 
or streets, viz., kilkeri, melkeri, and nadukeri. People be- 
longing to the same keri may not intermarry, as they are 
supposed to belong to the same family, and intermarriage 
would be distasteful. The following examples of marriage 
between members of different keris were recorded in my 
notes : — 



186 

Husband. Wife. 

KilkSri. NadukSri. 

Do. Do. 

Do. Melkeri. 
NadukSri. Do. 

Melkeri. NadukSri. 

Nadukeri. First wifeKllkeri, second 

wife Melkeri. 

On the day following my arrival at Kotagiri on the 
eastern extremity of the Nilgiri plateau, a deputation of 
Kotas from the neighbouring village waited on me, and, 
having learnt that I was a Government official, consented 
to allow me to record their measurements only on the dis- 
tinct understanding that I would not get their land-assess- 
ment increased — a point on which they were unnecessarily 
suspicions of me. For a few days all went well ; measure- 
ments were taken, and photographs duly admired. But 
the Kotas did not, like the Todas, enter good-humouredly 
into the spirit of an anthropological inquiry. A sudden 
strike set in, and an order was circulated among the village 
community that the measurement of women was not to be 
continued. The crisis was, however, after much argument 
and many interviews with leading representatives of the 
tribe, headed by an overfed monegar (head-man), who re- 
ceives a small salary from Government to collect rent and 
make returns of vital statistics, overcome by the interven- 
tion of the local Tahsildar (revenue officer). As a sign 
that peace was declared, three ancient and shrivelled female 
hags turned up at the bungalow to be measured. Sub- 
sequently, however, yet another strike ensued, and I was 
unblushingly informed that all the women were enceinte and 
could not leave the village, though I met troops of them on 
the road every evening. 

My first interview with the object of extracting infor- 
mation as to Kota l manners and customs * (to use a time- 
honoured phrase) was not a conspicuous success ; the man 
who was* engaged to act as my informant arriving in a state 
of maudling intoxication, and dressed up in the cast-off 
clothes of a British soldier. However, an excellent substi- 
tute was found in an intelligent and well-to-do blacksmith, 
who, in return for a print of his photograph, cheroots, a new 
cloth, and money wherewith to purchase drink, became a 
faithful ally. To the pencil of this man is due the drawing 
of an elephant reproduced on plate xxn for comparison 



plate xxii 




TDDA AND KOTA DRAWINGS 



187 

with the more crude efforts of a Toda lad to depict a man, 
a buffalo, aud an elephant. 

The besetting vice of the Kotas is a partiality for drink, 
and they congregate towards evening in the arrack shop and 
beer tavern in the bazar, whence they stagger or are helped 
home in a state of noisy and turbulent intoxication. 

The Kotas are universally looked down on as being 
unclean feeders and eaters of carrion ; a custom which is 
to them no more filthy than is that of eating game when 
it is high, or using the same tooth-brush day after day to a 
European. An unappetising sight, which may frequently be 
witnessed on roads leading to a Kota village, is that of a 
Kota carrying the flesh of a dead buffalo, often in a high 
state of putridity, slung on a stick across his shoulders, 
with the entrails trailing on the ground, so that " the very 
scent of the carrion — faugh — reached my nostrils at the 
distance where we stood. " Colonel Eoss King narrates 17 
how he once saw a Kota carrying home for food a dead 
rat thrown out of the stable a day or two previously. 
When I repeated this story to my informant, he glared at 
me, and bluntly remarked (in Tamil) " The book tells lies/ 5 
Despite its unpleasant nature, the carrion diet evidently 
agrees with the Kotas, who are a hard, sturdy set of men, 
flourishing, it is said, most exceedingly when the hill-cattle 
are dying of epidemic disease, and the food-supply is 
consequently abundant. 

Though all classes look down on the Kotas, all are 
agreed that they are excellent artisans, whose services as 
blacksmiths, carpenters, rope and umbrella makers, etc., are 
indispensable to the other hill tribes. In fact the Todas 
believe that the Kotas are a caste of artisans specially 
brought up from the plains to work for them. Each Toda, 
Irula, Kurumba, and Badaga settlement has its Muttu 
Kotas, who work for the inhabitants thereof, and supply 
them with sundry articles called muttu in return for the 
carcases of buffaloes and cattle, ney (clarified butter), grain, 
and plantains. The Kotas eat the flesh of the buffaloes 
and cattle which they receive, and sell the horns to Labbi 
(Muhamadan) merchants from the plains. Chucklers (boot- 
makers) from the plains collect the bones (which the Kotas 
might utilise as a source of income), and purchase the 
hides, which are roughly cured by the Kotas with chunam 

17 Op. cit. 

26 



* 188 

(lime) and avaram bark (Cassia auriculata), and fastened to 
the ground with pegs to dry. 

The Kota blacksmiths, who are skilled workmen, make 
hatchets, bill-hooks, knives, and other implements for the 
various hill tribes, especially the Badagas, and at times for 
' Hindus ' and Europeans. Within the memory of men 
still living they used to work with iron-ore brought up 
from the plains, but now depend on scrap- iron which they 
purchase locally in the bazar. The most nourishing smithy 
in the Kotagiri village is made of brick, of local manu- 
facture, roofed with zinc, and fitted with appliances (anvil, 
pincers, &c), of European manufacture. 

As agriculturists the Kotas are said to be quite on a par 
with the Badagas, and they raise on the land adjacent to 
their villages extensive crops of potatoes, bearded wheat, 
kirai (amaranth), samai (Panicurn miliar -e), korali (Setaria 
italica), mustard, onions, &c. 

At the revenue settlement, 1885, the Kotas were treated 
in the same way as the Badagas and other tribes of the 
Nilgiris, except the Todas, and the lands in their occupa- 
tion were assigned to them at rates varying from 10 to 2 
annas per acre. The l bhurty ' or shifting system of 
cultivation, under which the Kotas held their lauds, was 
formally, but nominally, abolished in 1862-64; but it was 
practically and finally done away with at the revenue 
settlement of the Nilgiri plateau. The Kota lands are now 
held on puttas under the ordinary ryotwari tenure. 

In former days opium of good quality was cultivated by 
the Badagas, from whom the Kotas got poppy-heads, which 
their herbalist practitioners used for medicinal purposes. 
Now-a-days, however, the Kotas purchase opium in the 
bazar, and use it as an intoxicant. 

The Kota women have none of the fearlessness and 
friendliness of the Toda, and, on the approach of a Euro- 
pean to their domain, bolt out of sight, like frighted 
rabbits in a warren, and hide within the inmost recesses of 
their huts. As a rule they are clad in filthily dirty cloths, 
all tattered and torn, and frequently not reaching nearly as 
low as the knees. In addition to domestic duties, the 
women have to do work in the fields, fetch water, and 
collect fire-wood, with loads of which, supported on the 
head by a pad of bracken fern leaves, and bill-hook slung 
on the shoulder, old and young women, girls and boys, 
may continually be seen returning to the village. The 
women also make baskets, and rude earthen pots on a 



PL. XXII 





1 



™ 



• 
us 






KOTA WOMAN. 



189 

potter's wheel. This consists of a disc made of dried mud, 
with an iron spike, by means of which it is made to re- 
volve in a socket in a stone fixed in the ground in the space 
in front of the houses, which also acts as a winnowing 
floor. 

Education, in its most elementary form, cannot be said to 
have taken a keen grip of the Kotas ; for, though a night- 
school has been established in their village at Kotagiri by 
the Basel Mission for the last eight years, at the time of my 
visit to Kotagiri only nine males, of various ages from 
twelve to twenty -four, out of a community of several 
hundreds, were on the school books. 

The chief characteristics of the Kotas, their personal 
ornaments, system of tattooing, &c, 

Characteristics. will be gathered from the following 

illustrative cases. 

As a type of a Kota man the following case may be 
cited : — 

No. 1. Male, aged 25. Name Komuttan. Blacksmith 
and carpenter. Silver baugle on right wrist; two silver 
rings on right little finger ; silver ring on each first toe* 
Gold ear-rings. Languti tied to silver chain round loins. 

Height 164*4 cm. 

Weight 125 lbs. 

Skin of exposed parts rather darker than protected, 
parts. (Unexposed parts, especially the chest, are in some 
Kotas markedly pale by contrast.) 

Hair of head black, wavy, parted in middle, and tied 
in a bunch behind. Imperial moustache, waxed. Beard 
trimmed short. Hair well developed on chest, abdomen, 
extensor surface of forearms, and legs. Hair of axillae 
shaved, as being an eye-sore. (The Kotas are not nearly 
such a hairy race as the Todas, but, as in Europeans, 
Brahmans, etc., individuals are frequently met with, in 
whom the hairy system is well developed on the trunk and 
extremities.) 

Forehead narrow and prominent. Countenance indicates 
decision of character. Length from vertex to chin 21*1 cm* 
Bizygomatic 12*7. Bigoniac 9*6 cm, Glabella and super- 
ciliary ridges not marked. Eyebrows bushy, united across 
middle line by thick hairs. Cheek-bones rather promi- 
nent. Lips thin. Facial angle (of Cuvier) 70°. Teeth 
white, and well formed. (The teeth of the Kotas are often, 
discoloured from the habit of chewing betel.) 



190 



Eyes horizontal. Iris dark-brown. 

Nose straight, narrow. Height 4*6 cm,; breadth 
3*2 cm, Alee expanded. 

Ears not outstanding, shallow. Height 56 cm. Lobules 
not attached, pierced. 

Cephalic length 19" 1 cm. j breadth 14 "2 cm. 

Chest 83 cm. circumference. 

Shoulders 38 cm. 

Biceps 28*5 cm. circumference. 

Cubit 45*6 cm. 

Hand, length, 18 e 5 cm. ; breadth 8*4 cm. 

Thigh 45 cm. circumference. 

Calf 32 cm. circumference, 

Foot, length, 25*8 cm. ; max : breadth 89 cm. 

t The average height of the Kota man, according to my 
measurements, is 162' 9 cm. ; but the following is an 
example of the tallest Kota whom I saw, and who consider- 
ably exceeds the mean. 

; ' : .No_. 2. Male, aged 35. Carpenter. Light blue eyes 
inherited from his mother. His children have eyes of the 
same colour. Lobules of ears pendulous from heavy gold 
ear-rings set with pearls. Black hair on head and beard. 
Black, mixed with brown hairs, beneath lower lip, and in 
moustache. Nose aquiline. (Another Kota man with light 
fylue eyes was also noticed by me.) 



t 


Man No. 2. Kota average. 


Weight 
.Height 

Do. sitting 
Do. kneeling 
Do. to gladiolus 

Span of arms ,v. 

Chest ... 

Shoulders 

Cubit ... 

Hand, length ... 
Do. breadth 

Hips 

Foot, length ... 
Do. breadth ... 


.. 


130 lbs. 

178-3 cm. 

90-4 „ 

121-4 „ 

131-6 „ 

190-2 „ 

86 „ 

40 „ 

49*5 „ 

19-6 „ 

8-7 „ 

28-5 „ 

26-7 „ . 

9-7 „ 

1 


115 lbs. 
162-9 cm. 

85-8 „ 

120 „ 

120-6 „ 

168-3 „ 

83-3 „ 

37-7 „ 

45-1 „ 

18 „ 

8 „ 

27 „ 

25-2 „ 

8-8 „ 



No. 3. Male. An old man, bearing a certificate from the 
Duke of Buckingham appointing him head-man of the Kota 
at Kotagiri, in recognition of his services and good character. 



•J 



PL. XXIV. 




It fa 



> 

< 

« 

< 

< 

o 



\ ; i 






, ■', 




191 

Says that lie is sixty-five years old, but looks, and must be, 
many years older, as lie appears as an elderly white-haired 
man in a photograph taken by Mr. Breeks more than twenty 
years ago. Bowed with age, and walks with support of a 
stick. (The Kotas, unlike the Todas, do not as a rule carry 
walking-sticks.) Bald over frontal and temporal regions. 
White hair on head and face, and long white hairs in 
middle of chest. 

No. 4. Boy, aged 13. Height 1454 cm. Shock head 
of hair, which is being permitted to grow where it was till 
recently shaved. Long tuft of hair hanging down from 
vertex below neck behind. Incipient moustache. Hair 
developed in axillas, not on trunk. Bushy eyebrows united 
by dense hairs. Iris light brown. Silver bangle on right 
wrist ; two silver rings on left first finger. 

No. 5. Boy, aged 10-12. Hair shaved on top, sides, 
and back of head, leaving a tuft of long hair hanging down 
from vertex behind a la Hindu. Ears pierced. Foreheac] 
very prominent and narrow. Cephalic length 18* 5 cm.; 
breadth 13 "9 cm. 

No. 6. Man. Hair tied behind in a bunch by means of 
a string with a silver ring attached to it. 

No. 7. Man. Two letters of his name tattooed (blue) on 
front of left forearm. ' 

No. 8. Man. Initial letter of his name tattooed (blue) on 
front of left forearm. 

No. 9. Man. Branded with cicatrix of burn made, wheu 
a young man, with a burning cloth, across lower end of back, 
of forearm. This is a distinguishing mark of the Kotas/ 
and is made on boys when they are more than eight years, 
old. 

, No. 10. Man. ( Grrog -blossom ; nose. Breadth of nose 
4*6 cm. He is a confirmed drunkard, but attributes the in- 
ordinate size of his nasal organ to the acrid juice of a tree 
which he was felling dropping on to it. 

No. 11. Woman, aged 30, Divorced for being a con- 
firmed opium-eater, and living with her father. Dull, muddy 
complexion, Vacant expression of countenance. Skin of 
chest pale by contrast with the neck, Hair of head smooth, 
parted in middle> and done up behind in bunch round pad of 
leaves. Bushy eyebrows united across middle line by hairs. 
Slight moustache. Wears a dirty cotton cloth with blue and 
red stripes, covering body and reaching below knees^ and a 



192 

plain cotton loin-cloth. Two brass and glass bead necklets. 
Four copper rings on left upper arm above elbow. Two 
copper bangles separated by cloth ring on right wrist ; two 
brass bangles separated by similar ring on left wrist. 
Brass ring on first toe of each foot. Blue tattooed line uniting 
eyebrows. Name in Tamil tattooed on right forearm. Two 
vertical tattooed lines on left upper arm. Tattooed with rings 
and lines on outer side of right upper arm (pi. xxvi, 1). 

Height 146*6 cm. 

Weight 86 lbs. 

Shoulders 33 '8 cm. 

Cubit 40-9 cm. 

Hand, length, 16*5 cm. ; breadth 7'1 om. Nails kept 
long for combing hair. 

Foot, length, 22 cm. ; max : breadth 7*7 cm. 

Cephalic length, 18*2 cm. 
„ breadth, 13*7 cm. 

Forehead prominent. Bigoniac 9*4 cm. Bizygomatic 
12*4 cm. Facial angle 68°. Teeth white and regular. 

Nose, snub. Height 4*1 cm. ; breadth 3*3 cm. 

Ears pierced. Too poor to afford ear-rings. 

12. Woman, aged 40. Two plain glass-bead necklets, 
and bead necklet ornamented with silver rings. Four brass 
rings and one steel ring on left forearm. Two massive 
brass bangles, weighing two pounds each, and separated 
by cloth ring, on right wrist. Brass bangle with brass and 
steel pendents, and shell bangle on left wrist. Two steel 
and one copper ring on right ring finger ; brass rings on 
left first, ring, and little fingers. Two brass rings on first 
toe of each foot. Tattooed line uniting eyebrows. Tattooed 
on outer side of both upper arms with rings, dots, and lines 
(pi. xxvi, 2) ; rows of dots on back of right forearm ; circle 
on back of each wrist ; rows of dots on left ankle, 

13. Woman, aged 35. Tattoo marks on forearms (pi. 
xxvi, 3 and 4). 

14. Woman, aged 35. Tattoo marks on right upper 
arm (pi. xxvi, 5). 

15. Woman, aged 25. Tattoo marks on right upper 
arm (pi. xxvi, 6) and left forearm (pi. xxvi, 7). 

16. Woman, aged 25. Tattoo marks on right upper 
arm (pi. xxvi, 8) and left forearm (pi. xxvi, 9). 

17. Woman, aged 35. Glass necklet ornamented with 
cowry shells, and charm pendent from it, consisting of a 



PL. XXV 



.. ...: _ 



KOTA WOMEN. 



198 

fragment of the root of 3ome tree rolled up in a ball of cloth, 
She put it on when her baby was about a month old, to 
protect it against devils. The baby has a similar kind of 
charm round the neck. 

18. Woman, aged 30. Has been treated in hospital for 
syphilitic ulceration of the palate. History of primary 
syphilis. 

The Kota priesthood is represented by devadis and 
pujaris, who wear no distinguishing 
dress. The office of devadi is carried 
on by heredity, and the pujaris are appointed by the devadi 
when under the influence of inspiration by the swami 
(god). The devadi becomes at times possessed by the god, 
to whom he repeats the requests and desires of the people, 
and delivers to them the answer of the god. He is per- 
mitted to live with his wife, and not bound, like the Toda 
palal, to a celibate existence. On the death of a dSvadi, 
the god takes possession of some member of his family, who 
dreams that the mantle of the dead priest has descended 
on him, and becomes seized with inspiration in the temple. 

In addition to the devadi, each village has two pujaris, 
appointed by the devadi when under the influence of inspi- 
ration by the god. Their main duty is to perform pujas in 
the temple. 

They too may be married, and live with their wives ; 
but, at the great festival in honour of Kamatarayfi , neither 
d§vadi nor pQjari may live or hold communion with their 
wives for fear of pollution, and they have to cook thoir meals 
themselves. 

" Some rude image of wood or stone, a rock or tree in 
a secluded locality, frequently form the Kota's object of 
worship, and to which sacrificial offerings are m ide ; but 
the recognised place of worship in each village consists of 
a large square piece of ground, walled round with loose 
stones, three feet high, and containing in its cen bre two 18 
pent-shaped sheds of thatch, open before and be! and, and 
on the posts (of stone) that support them some rude circles 
and other figures are drawn. No image of any sort is 
visible here " (Shortt). These sheds, which are a short 
distance apart, are dedicated to Siva and his consort Par- 
vati under the names of Kamataraya and Kalikai. Though 

19 At Kolamale there are three temples, two dedicated to Kamataraya 

and one to Kalikai. 



194 

no representation of the swamis is exhibited in the temples 
at ordinary times, their spirits are believed to pervade the 
buildings, and at the annual ceremony they are represented 
by two thin, plain plates of silver, which are attached to the 
upright posts of the temples. The stones surrounding the 
temples at Kotagiri are scratched with various quaint 
devices, and lines for the games of hulikote and kote. 

The Kota villagers go, I was told, to the temple once a 
month, at full moon, and meditate on and worship god. 
Their belief is that Kamataraya created the Kotas, Todas, 
and Kurumbas, but not the Irulas. " Tradition says of 
Kamataraya that, perspiring profusely, he wiped from his 
forehead three drops of perspiration, and out of them formed 
the three most ancient of the hill tribes — the Todas, Kurum- 
bas and Kotas. The Todas were told to live principally 
upon milk, the Kurumbas were permitted to eat the flesh of 
buffalo calves, and the Kotas were allowed perfect liberty 
in the choice of food, being informed that they might eat 
carrion if they could get nothing better." (Breeks.) 

In comparatively recent years the Kotas have created a 
new god, named Magali, to whose influence outbreaks of 
cholera are supposed to be due ; and a goddess, named 
Mariamma, is supposed by the Kotas to be responsible for 
small-pox. When cholera breaks out among the Kota com- 
munity, special sacrifices are performed with a view to 
propitiating the wrath of the god. Magali is represented 
by an upright stone in a rude temple at a little distance 
from Kotagiri, where an annual ceremony is held, at which 
some man will become possessed, and announce to the 
people that Magali has come. At this ceremony a special 
priest (pujari) offers up plantains and cocoanuts, and makes 
a sacrifice of sheep and fowls. My informant, despite the 
fact that he was the pujari of Magali, was, or pretended to 
be, ignorant of the following legend recorded by Breeks as 
to the origin of the worship of the god of small-pox. " A 
virulent disease carried off a number of Kotas of Peranga- 
nada, and the village was abandoned by the survivors. A 
Badaga named Munda Jogi, who was bringing his tools to 
the Kotagiri to be sharpened, saw near a tree something 
in the form of a tiger, which spoke to him, and told him to 
summon the run-away Kotas. He obeyed, whereupon the 
tiger form addressed the Kotas in an unknown tongue, and 
vanished. For some time the purport of this communica- 
tion remained a mystery. At last, however, a Kota came 
forward to interpret, and declared that the god ordered 



195 

the Kotas to return to the village on pain of a recurrence 
of the pestilence. The command was obeyed, and a swami 
house ^was built on the spot where the form appeared to the 
Badaga (who doubtless felt keenly the inconvenience of 
having no Kotas at hand to sharpen his tools)." 

In a Report by Lieutenant Evans, written in 1820, it is 
i stated that " the marriages of this 

caste (the Kothewars) remind one of 
what is called bundling in Wales. The bride and bride- 
groom being together for the night, in the morning the 
bride is questioned by her relatives whether she is pleased 
with her husband elect. If she answers in the affirmative, 
it is a marriage ; if not, the bridegroom is immediately dis- 
charged, and the lady does not suffer in reputation if she 
thus discards half a dozen suitors. " The recital of this 
account, translated into Tamil, raised a smile on the face 
of my Kota informant, who volunteered the following inform 
mation relating to the betrothal and marriages ceremonies 
of the present day. 

Girls, as a rule, marry when they are from twelve 
to sixteen years old, between which years they reach the 
age of puberty. A wife is selected for a lad by his 
parents, subject to the consent of the girl's parents ; or, if 
a lad has no near relatives, the selection is made for him by 
the villagers. Betrothal takes place when the girl is quite 
a child (eight to ten). The boy goes, accompanied by his 
father and mother, to the house where the girl lives, 
prostrates himself at the feet of her parents, and, if he is 
accepted, presents his future father-in-law with a four- 
anna piece, which is understood to represent a larger sum. 
According to Breeks the boy also makes a present of a 
birianhana of gold, and the betrothal ceremony is called 
bali-med-deni (bali, bracelet ; med-deni, I have made). 
Both betrothal and marriage ceremonies take place on 
Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday, which are regarded as 
auspicious days. 

The ceremonial in connection with marriage is of a very 
simple nature. The bridegroom elect, accompanied by his 
relatives, attends a feast at the house of his bride, and the 
wedding day is fixed. On the appointed day the bride-, 
groom pays a dowry, varying from ten to fifty rupees, to his 
bride's father, and takes the girl to his house, where the 
wedding guests, who have accompanied them, are feasted. 

The Kotas seem to be prolific, and families of eight, nine, 
ten or more are not uncommon ; but it is rarely that tjho 

27 



196 

whole of a large family grows up, many dying in infancy. 
Widow remarriage is permitted. 

The Kotas, as a rule, have only one wife, and polyandry 
is unknown among them. But in some instances polygamy 
is practised. My informant, for example, had two wives, of 
whom the first had only presented him with one child, a 
daughter ; and, as he was anxious to have a son, he had taken 
to himself a second wife. If a woman bears no children, her 
husband may marry a second, or even a third wife ; and, if 
they can get on together without fighting, all the wives may 
live under the same roof; otherwise they occupy separate 
huts. 

Divorce may, I was told, be obtained for incompatibility 
of temper, drunkenness, or immorality ; or a man can get 
rid of his wife 'if she is of no use to him/ i.e., if she does 
not feed him well, or assist him in the cultivation of his 
land. Divorce is decided by a panchayat (council) of repre- 
sentative villagers, and judgment given, after hearing the 
evidence, by an elderly member of the community. Cases 
of theft, assault, or other mild offence are also settled by a 
panchayat, and, in the event of a case arising which cannot 
be settled by members of council representing a single 
village, delegates from all the seven villages meet together. 
If even then a decision cannot be arrived at, recourse is had 
to the official court, of which the Kotas steer clear if possible. 
At a big panchayat the head-man (pittakar) of the Kotas 
gives the decision, referring, if necessary, to some * sensible 
member ' of the council for a second opinion. 

When a married woman is known to be pregnant with 
her first child, her husband allows the hair of the head and 
face to grow long, and leaves the nails of both hands uncut. 
At the time of delivery the woman is removed to a hut (a 
permanent structure) called vollugudi (vollu inside, gudi 
nest), which is divided into two rooms, one of which serves 
as a lying-in hospital, the other for women at the menstrual 
periods. Women are attended in child-birth by a profes- 
sional Kota midwife, who is remunerated with board and a 
new cloth. After the birth of the child the woman appa- 
rently remainsin the vollugudi till the next full moon,and then 
goes for a further space of two months to another hut called 
telulu. On departure from the vollugudi the baby is fed 
with rice boiled, in a specially made clay pot, on a fire made 
with the wood of a particular jungle tree. When the woman 
leaves the telulu, a feast is given to the relatives, and the 
head-man of the kheri gives the child a name which has been 



PLATE XXVf 



o o o o o o 


3"! 


' 1 

I 


1 



* • a • • • • a • • 

~ o o o o o 



w 

I 

3 



7\^ 



o o 









D 


o 


o 


" 
























• • 9 * « • « • • 

o o ooooo 













X 



9 



o •-• • o • • • o 
o o o o o o o 



KOTA TATTOO MARKS 



197 

chosen by its father. Before the woman returns to her home, 
at the end of her temporary banishment therefrom, it is 
purified with cow-dung and water, and, as she enters her 
house, the man who has named the child gives her a few 
drops of water to drink. Breeks mentions that a woman 
with her first child, on leaving the vollugudi for the telulu, 
must make seven steps backwards among seven kinds of 
thorns strewed on the ground ; but my informant expressed 
ignorance of any such ceremony. 

A common name for females is Madi, one of the names 
of the goddess Kalikai ; and the first male child is always 
called Komuttan (= Kamataraya) . The numerous Komut- 
tans in a village are distinguished by the prefix big, little, 
carpenter, etc. 

When a man or woman is on the point of death, a 

gold coin (viraya fanam) is placed in 
Funeral ceremony. ^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ *^ ^ 

laid out on a mat, covered with a cloth, the thumbs are tied 
together with string, and the hands placed on the chest. 
The relatives of the deceased, the pujari and devadi, and 
Kotas of other villages who have been informed of the death, 
come and salute the corpse, head to head, and mourn over it. 

A rude catafalque (teru), made of wood and decorated 
with cloths, is placed in front of the house of the deceased, 
round which the Kotas dance to the strains of a Kota band, 
while the near relatives continue mourning. A male buffalo 
is fetched from a Badaga village or Toda mand, and killed 
outside the village, as at a Toda kedu, from which some of 
the Kota funeral rites are borrowed. The carcase is skinned, 
cut up, and taken to the house where the corpse is lying. 
Half the flesh is distributed among the Kota villagers. 

When the time of the funeral has arrived, the dead body 
is removed from the house, placed on a stretcher, and taken 
outside the village, with the catafalque borne in front, to a 
tree in the jungle. A cow (not buffalo) is then killed, the 
hand of the corpse placed on one of the horns, and all 
present salute it with the same ceremonial as at a Toda 
green funeral. The dead cow is handed over to pariahs, 
and not eaten by Kotas. From the jungle the corpse and 
catafalque are carried to the burning ground, where a 
funeral pyre is made, on which the corpse is laid facejupwards> 
and burned beneath the catafalque. If the corpse be that 
of a man, jewelry, cheroots, various kinds of grain, iron 
implements, walking-stick, and buguri (musical instrument) j 



198 

and, if of a woman, jewelry, a winnowing basket, rice 
measure, rice beater, sickle, cakes and rice are burnt. The 
widow of a dead man is said to place on the dead body her 
tali (marriage badge) and other ornaments, which are, 
however, removed before the pyre is kindled. 

On the day following that of the funeral, the smoul- 
dering ashes are extinguished with water, and the ashes, 
excepting the remains of the skull, collected together and 
buried in a pit, the site of which is marked by a heap of 
stones. The skull is buried separately in a spot which is 
also marked by a heap of stones. A feast, whereat the 
half of the buffalo which was not given to the villagers is 
served up as funeral baked meat, is then held. 

In the month of December a dry funeral ceremony takes 
place, in imitation of the Toda bara kedu. Eight days before 
the date fixed for the ceremony, a dance takes place in front 
of the houses of the Kotas whose memorial rites are to be 
celebrated, and three days before their celebration invita- 
tions are issued to the different Kota villages. On the 
appointed day the relatives of the deceased have buffaloes 
ready, and place the skulls, which have been unburied, wrapt 
in cloths, on a cot. Obeisance is made to the relics by touching 
them with the head. They are then carried to a shola (the 
funeral ground), where the buffaloes — one for each skull — 
decorated with a bell hung round the neck, are killed. The 
skulls are then burned with the same articles as at the 
burning of the corpse, with, in the case of a male, the addi- 
tion of a pole (tarzh), twenty feet long, decorated with cowries, 
such as is burned at Toda dry funerals. The burning con- 
cluded, water is poured from a chatty over the ashes, on 
which no further care is bestowed. Those who have been 
present at the ceremony remain all night on the spot, 
where, on the following morning, a feast and dance take 
place. Finally a dance is held in the village ; the dancers 
being dressed up as at the annual feast. 

It may be noted that if a child only a few days old dies, 
the body is buried instead of being burnt. 

A great annnal festival is held in honour of Kamataraya 
with the ostensible object of propiti- 

Annual ceremony. ating Hm ^.^ ft yiew ^ ^ giy{ng ^ 

Kotas an abundant harvest and general prosperity. The 
feast commences on the first Monday after the January new 
moon, and lasts for about a fortnight, which is observed 
as a general holiday, and is said to be a continuous scene 
of licentiousness and debauchery, much indecent dancing 



199 

taking place between men and women. According to Metz, 
the chief men among the Badagas must attend the festival ; 
otherwise their absence would be regarded as a breach of 
friendship and etiquette, and the Kotas would immediately 
avenge themselves by refusing to make any ploughs or 
earthen vessels for the Badagas. 

. The programme of events, so far as I have been able to 
gather without being present as an eye-witness, is somewhat 
as follows : — 

A fire is kindled by one of the priests in the temple, and 

_. carried to the Nadukeri section of 

the village, where it is kept burning 

throughout the festival. Around the fire men, women, 

adolescent boys and girls, dance to the weird music of the 

Kota band, whose instruments consist of clarionet, drum, 

tambourine, brass horn, and buguri (Tod a flute). 

Second day \ 

Third day Dailce at night 
Fourth dav & 

Fifth day ] 

The villagers go to the jungle, and collect bamboos and 
rattans, with which to re-roof the 
Sixth day. temples. Dance at night. 

The day is busily spent in re-roofing and decorating the 
temples, and it is said to be essential 
that the work should be concluded 
before night-fall. Dance at night. 

In the morning the villagers go to Badaga villages, and 
^. ... , cadge for presents of grain and ghi 

Eighth day. " . & , ,, r , , -, & , , °. 

which they subsequently cook, place in 
front of the temple as an offering to the swami, and, after the 
priests have eaten, partake of, seated round the temple. 

Kotas, Todas, Badagas, Kurumbas, Irulas and ' Hindus ' 
come to the Kota village, where an 
elaborate nautch is performed, in which 
men are the principal actors, dressed up in gaudy attire 
consisting of skirt, petticoat, trousers, turban and scarves, 
and freely decorated with jewelry which is either their 
own property or borrowed from Badagas for the occasion. 
Women merely dressed in clean cloths, also take part in a 
dance called kumi, which consists of a walk round to time 
beaten with the hands. I was present at a private per- 
formance of the male nautch, which was as dreary as such 
entertainments usually are, but it lacked the go which is 
doubtless put into it when it is performed under natural 



200 

conditions in the village away from the restraining influence 
of the European. The nautch is apparently repeated daily 
until the conclusion of the festival. 

A burlesque representation of a Toda kedu (funeral 
ceremony) is given, at which the part 

^weTftn^toys. of tlie sacrificial buffaloes is played by 

men with buffalo horns fixed on the 
head, and body covered with a black cloth. 

At the close of the festival the pujaris, devadi, and 
leading Kotas go out hunting with bows and arrows, leaving 
the village at 1 a.m. and returning at 3 a.m. They are said 
to have shot bison 19 at this nocturnal expedition ; but what 
takes place at the present day is said to be unknown to the 
villagers, who are forbidden to leave their houses during the 
absence of the hunting party. On their return to the village, 
a fire is lighted with a hand fire drill by friction, a twig 
of the baiga tree, with cloth wrapped round its point, being 
twisted round in a socket in a plank until it iguites. Into 
the fire a piece of iron is put by the devadi, made red-hot 
with the assistance of the bellows, and hammered by the 
pujari. The priests then offer up a parting prayer to the 
swami, and the festival is at an end. 

Like the Todas, the Kotas indulge in trials of strength 
with heavy spherical stones, which they 
raise, or attempt to raise, from the 
ground to the shoulders, and in a game resembling the 
English tip-cat. In another game sides are chosen, of about 
ten on each side. One side takes shots with a ball made of 
cloth at a brick propped up against a wall, near which the 
other side stands. Each man is allowed three shots at the 
brick. If the brick is hit and falls over, one of the f out- 
side ' picks up the ball, and throws it at the other side, who 
run away and try to avoid being hit. If the ball touches 
one of them, the side is put out, and the other side go in. 

A game, called hulikote, which bears a resemblance to the 
English child's game of fox and geese, is played on a stone 
chiselled with lines which forms a rude playing board. In 
one form of the game (pi. xxvn) two tigers and twenty-five 
bulls, and in another form (pi. xxvn) three tigers and fifteen 
bulls engage, and the object is for the tigers to take, or, as 
the Kotas express it, kill all the bulls. In a further game, 
called kote, a labyrinthiform pattern, or maze, is chiselled on 
a stone, to get to the centre of which is the problem. 

16 Bos gaums, the bison of European sportsmen. 



PLATE XXtfU 






KOTA GAMES 



201 



COMPARISON BETWEEN TODAS AND KOTAS. 

A comparative table of measurements of Toda and Kota 
men will be found on page 215. The following summary, 
based on the averages, will serve, however, to indicate the 
principal points of difference between male members of the 
two tribes. 

The most obvious distinguishing character is the great 
development of the hairy system in the Toda,, though the 
Kota frequently has hair well developed on his chest and 
abdomen. The weight and chest girth of the two tribes 
are approximately the same, but the mean Toda height is 
6*7 cm. greater than that of the Kotas. Corresponding to a 
greater length of the upper extremities, the span of the 
arms (i.e., the length from tip to tip of the middle finger 
with the arms extended at right angles to the body) is 6' 7 
cm. longer in the Toda than in the Kota, but the difference 
between height and span is exactly the same (5*4 cm.) in 
the Toda and Kota. The Tod as are broader shouldered 
than the Kotas, and, though the former do far less manual 
labour than the latter (many of whom are blacksmiths), 
their hand grip, as tested by a Salter's dynamometer, is 
considerably (9 lbs.) greater. The Kotas have broader 
hips, but a shorter and narrower foot than the Todas. 
Both Todas and Kotas are dolichocephalic. The cephalic 
breadth averages the same in the two tribes, but the length 
of the head is very slightly (*2 cm.) greater in the Toda. 
The Kota has a wider face with more prominent cheek bones, 
a greater bimilar breadth, a wider lower jaw, and more 
developed zygomatic arches. The Toda nose is slightly 
longer and broader than that of the Kotas. The height 
from the top of the head (vertex) to the chin is slightly 
less in the Kota than in the Toda ; but corresponding to 
the greater length from the vertex to the tragus and the 
more developed frontal region, the facial angle (angle of 
Cuvier) of the Kota is in excess (3°) of that of the Toda. 

The present bulletin is, I trust, only the first of a series 
giving in detail the results of an anthropological survey 
of the inhabitants of Southern India, the progress of which 
must perforce be slow and spasmodic. For the moment I 
must rest content with merely placing on record the main 
facts relating to the anthropography and ethnography 
of the Todas and Kotas, leaving the conclusions to be drawn 
hereafter, when sufficient material has been collected for the 
purpose of co-ordination. 



202 
NOTE ON KOTA DEATH CEREMONIES. 



At the time of writing the foregoing account of the 
Kotas, I had had no opportunity of witnessing their death 
ceremonies, and was compelled to base my meagre account 
thereof on the description given to me by my Kota inform- 
ant. A few days after my arrival at Kotagiri in the present 
year, with a view to investigating the Badagas and Irulas, 
the dismal sound of mourning, to the weird strains of the 
Kota band, announced that death reigned in the Kota 
village, and the opportunity was seized to be present as an 
eye-witness of the ceremonies. 

The dead man was a venerable carpenter (No. 3, p. 190) 
of high position in the community, and the death rites were 
accordingly carried out on a lavish scale. Soon after day- 
break a detachment of villagers hastened to convey the 
tidings of the death to the Kotas of the neighbouring 
villages, who arrived on the scene later in the day in 
Indian file, men in front and women in the rear. As they 
drew near to the place of mourning, they all, of one accord, 
commenced the orthodox manifestations of grief, and were 
met by a deputation of villagers accompanied by the band. 

Meanwhile a red flag, tied to the top of a bamboo 
pole, was hoisted as a signal of death in the village, and a 
party had gone off to a glade, some two miles distant, to 
obtain wood for the construction of the funeral car (teru). 
The car, when completed, was an elaborate structure, about 
eighteen feet in height, made of wood and bamboo, in four 
tiers, each with a canopy of turkey red and yellow cloth, 
and an upper canopy of white cloth trimmed with red, 
surmounted by a black umbrella of European manufac- 
ture, decorated with red ribbands. The car was profusely 
adorned throughout with red flags and long white streamers, 
and with young plantain trees at the base. Tied to the car 
were a calabash and a bell. 

During the construction of the car the corpse remained 
within the house of the deceased man, outside which the 
relatives and villagers continued mourning to the dirge-like 
music of the band, which plays so prominent a part at the 
death ceremonies of both Todas and Kotas. On the com- 
pletion of the car, late in the afternoon, it was deposited in 
front of the house. The corpse dressed up in a coloured 



203 

turban and gaudy coat as for a nautch party, with a 
garland of flowers round the neck, and* two rupees, a half 
rupee, and sovereign, gummed on to the forehead, was 
brought from withiu the house, lying face upwards on a cot, 
and placed beneath the lowest canopy of the car. Near the 
head were placed iron implements and a bag of rice, at the 
feet a bag of tobacco, and beneath the cot baskets of grain, 
rice, cakes, &c. The corpse was covered by cloths offered 
to it as presents, and before it those Kotas who were 
younger than the dead man prostrated themselves, while 
those who were older touched the head of the corpse and 
bowed to it. Around the car the male members of the 
community executed a wild step -dance, keeping time with 
the music in the execution of various fantastic movements 
of the arms and legs. 

During the long hours of the night mourning was 
kept up to the almost incessant music of the band, and 
the early morn discovered many of the' villagers in an 
advanced stage of intoxication. Throughout the morning 
dancing round the car was continued by men, sober and 
inebriated, with brief intervals of rest, and a young buffalo 
was slaughtered as a matter of routine form, with no 
special ceremonial, in a pen outside the village, by blows 
on the back and neck administered with the keen edge of 
an adze. Towards midday presents of rice from the rela- 
tives of the dead man arrived on the back of a pony, which 
was paraded round the funeral car. From a vessel contain- 
ing rice and rice water, rice was crammed into the mouths 
of the near relatives, some of the water poured over their 
heads, and the remainder offered to the corpse. At 
intervals a musket, charged with gunpowder, which proved 
later on a dangerous weapon in the hands of an intoxicated 
Kota, was let off, and the bell on the car rung. 

About 2 p.m., the time announced for the funeral, the 
cot bearing the corpse, from the forehead of which the coins 
had been removed, was carried outside the village, followed 
by the widow and a throng of Kotas of both sexes, young 
and old, and the car was carried to the foot of the hill, there 
to await the arrival of the corpse after the performance of 
various ceremonies. Seated together at some distance from 
the corpse, the women continued to mourn until the funeral 
procession was out of sight, those who could not cry 
spontaneously, or compel the tears to flow, mimicking the 
expression of woe by contortion of the grief muscles « The 
most poignant grief was displayed by a man, in a state of 

28 



204 

extreme intoxication, who sat apart by himself, howling and 
sobbing, and wound up by creating considerable disturbance 
at the burning ground. Three young bulls were brought 
from the village, and led round the corpse. Of these, two 
were permitted to escape for the time being, while a vain 
attempt, which would have excited the derision of the 
expert Toda buffalo catchers, was made by three men 
hanging on to the head and tail to steer the third bull up 
to the head of the corpse. The animal, however, proving 
refractory, it was deemed discreet to put an end to its 
existence by a blow on the poll with the butt-end of an 
adze, at some distance from the corpse, which was carried 
up to it, and made to salute the dead beast's head with the 
right hand in feeble imitation of the impressive Toda 
ceremonial. The carcase of the bull was saluted by a few 
of the Kota men, and subsequently carried off by pariahs. 

Supported by females, the exhausted widow of the dead 
man, who had fainted earlier in the day, was dragged up 
to the corpse, and, lying back beside it, had to submit to 
the ordeal of removal of all her jewelry, the heavy brass 
bangle being hammered off the wrist, supported on a 
wooden roller, by oft repeated smart blows with mallet 
and chisel, delivered by a village blacksmith assisted by a 
besotten individual noted as a consumer of twelve grains 
of opium daily. The ornaments, as removed, were collected 
in a basket, to be worn again by the widow after several 
months. 

This revolting ceremony concluded, and a last salutation 
given by the widow to her dead husband, arches of bamboo 
were attached to the cot, which was covered over with a 
coloured table cloth hiding the corpse from sight. A 
procession was then formed, composed of the corpse on the 
cot, preceded by the car and musicians, and followed by 
male Kotas and Badagas, Kota women carrying the baskets 
of grain and cakes, a vessel containing fire, burning camphor, 
and, bringing up the rear, a high dignitary of the church, 
an amateur photographer, and myself. Quickly the pro- 
cession marched to the burning ground beyond the bazar, 
situated in a valley by the side of a stream running through 
a glade in a dense undergrowth of bracken fern and trailing 
passion-flower. On arrival at the selected spot, a number 
of agile Kotas swarmed up the sides of the car, and stripped 
it of its adornments, including the umbrella, and a free 
fight for the possession of the cloths and flags ensued. The 
denuded car was then placed over the corpse, which, de- 



205 

prived of all valuable ornaments, and still lying on the cot 
face upwards, had been meanwhile placed, amid a noisy 
scene of brawling, on the rapidly constructed funeral pyre. 
Around the car faggots of fire-wood, supplied, in lieu of 
wreaths, by different families in the dead man's village, as 
a tribute of respect to the deceased, were piled up, and the 
pyre was lighted with torches kindled at a fire which was 
burning on the ground close by. As soon as the pyre was in 
a blaze, tobacco, cheroots, cloths, and grain were distributed 
among those present, and the funeral party dispersed, dis- 
cussing the events of the day as they returned to their 
homes, leaving a few men behind in charge of the burning 
corpse. And peace reigned once more in the Kota village. 
A few days later the funeral of an elderly Kota woman 
took place with a very similar ceremonial. But, suspended 
from the handle of the umbrella on the top of the car, was 
a rag doll, which, in appearance, resembled an c Aunt 
Sally/ 



NOTE ON KOTA ANNUAL FESTIVAL, 



The following note is a translation of a description by 
Dr. Emil Schmidt (Reise nach Sud-Indien, 1894) of the 
dancing at the Kota annual festival, at which he had the 
good fortune to be present as an eye-witness : — 

" During my stay at Kotagiri the Kotas were cele- 
brating the big festival in honour of their chief god. The 
feast lasted over twelve days, during which homage was 
offered to the god every evening, and a dance performed 
round a fire kept burning near the temple throughout the 
feast. On the last evening but one, females, as well as 
males, took part in the dance. As darkness set in, the 
shrill music, which penetrated to my hotel, attracted me to 
the Kota village. At the end of the street, which adjoins 
the back of the temple, a big fire was kept up by continually 
putting on large long bundles of brushwood. On one side 
of the fire, close to the flames, stood the musicians with 
their musical instruments, two hand-drums, a tambourine, 
beaten by blows on the back, a brass cymbal beaten with a 
stick, and two pipes resembling oboes. Over and over 
again the same monotonous tune was repeated by the two 
latter in quick four-eight time to the accompaniment of 



206 

the other instruments. On my arrival, about forty male 
Kotas, young and old, were dancing round the fire, de- 
scribing a semi-circle, first to one side, then the other, 
raising the hands, bending the knees, and executing fan- 
tastic steps with the feet. The entire circle moved thus 
slowly forwards, one or the other from time to time giving 
vent to a spout that sounded like Hau ! and, at the conclu- 
sion of the dance, there was a general shout all round. 
Around the circle, partly on the piles of stone near the 
temple, were seated a number of Kotas of both sexes. A 
number of Badagas of good position, who had been specially 
invited to the feast, sat round a small fire on a raised place, 
which abuts on the back wall of the temple. 

" The dance over, the circle of dancers broke up. The 
drummers held their instruments, rendered damp and lax 
by the moist evening breeze, so close to the flames that I 
thought they would get burnt. Soon the music began 
again to a new tune ; first the oboes, and then, as soon as 
they had got into the proper swing, the other instruments. 
The melody was not the same as before, but its two move- 
ments were repeated without intercession or change. In 
this dance females, as well as males, took part, grouped in 
a semi- circle, while the men completed the circle. The 
men danced boisterously and irregularly. Moving slowly 
forwards with the entire circle, each dancer turned right 
round from right to left and from left to right, so that, 
after every turn, they were facing the fire. The women 
danced with more precision and more artistically than the 
men. "When they set out on the dance, they first bowed 
themselves before the fire, and then made left and right 
half turns with artistic regular steps. Their countenances 
expressed a mixture of pleasure and embarrassment. None 
of the dancers wore any special costume, but the women, 
who were nearly all old and ugly, had, for the most part, a 
quantity of ornaments in the ears and nose and on the 
neck, arms and legs. 

tc In the third dance, played once more in four-eight 
times, only females took part. It was the most artistic 
of all, and the slow movements had evidently been well 
rehearsed beforehand. The various figures consisted of 
stepping radially to and fro, turning, stepping forwards 
and backwards, etc., with measured seriousness and solemn 
dignity. It was for the women, who, at other times, get 
very little enjoyment, the most important and happiest day 
jn the whole year." 



20? 



TABLE I. 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS, 
TODA MEN- 





8 


a 
1 


as 
bo 

e3 

u 

4 


sj 


§1 




Weight 


135 


98 


115-4 


124-1 


105 


15 measurements. 
Average height 
168-3 cm. 


Hand dynamome- 
ter. 


100 


60 


79 


87 


71 


Two men not 
measured, 112 
and 105. 


Height 


179 


159*2 


169-6 


173-7 


164-4 




Height, sitting . . . 


94-2 


82-3 


87-9 


90 


85 




Height, kneeling... 


1328 


118-4 


124-8 


128-6 


121 




Height to gladiolus. 


136 


113 


124-4 


128-2 


121 




Span of arms 


188-8 


164-2 


175 


180 


170-4 


— — - — — 


Chest 


88-5 


77 


83 


85-7 


80-2 


Middle finger to 
patella. 


13 


5-9 


9 


10-7 


7-9 


16 measure- 
ments. 


Shoulders 


42 


37 


393 


40-2 


38*5 




Cubit 


50-3 


435 


47 


48-4 


45-4 




Hand, length 


20 


18 


18-8 


19-1 


18-3 




Hand, breadth ... 


9-2 


7'4 


8-1 


8-5 


7-8 




Middle finger 


12-7 


11 


12 


12-3 


11-6 




Hips 


29-2 


23-3 


25-7 


26-6 


24-7 




Foot, length 


27-9 
10-6 


24-2 


26-2 


273 


25-4 




Foot, max. breadth. 


8-1 


92 


9-9 


8-6 




Cephalic length ... 


20 


18-3 


19-4 


19-7 


19 




Cephalic breadth. 


15*2 


13-6 


14-2 


14-6 


13-9 




Cephalic index ... 


77-6 


69-2 


73-3 


74 


71 





208 

TABLE I— continued, 

SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS— continued. 
TODA MEN-continued. 





a 



a 


g 

a 

a 
k 


bo 


6 






Bigoniac ... 


10-2 


8-2 


96 


9-9 


93 




Bizygomatic 


13'8 


12 


127 


13-1 


125 




Maxillo-zygomatic 
index. 


82 


67-8 


75-7 


792 


737 




Nasal height 


53 


I 

4-5 


4-7 


4-9 


4-6 




Nasal breadth ... 


4-1 


3 


36 


3-8 


3-4 




Nasal index 


89-1 


61'2 


74-9 


79-9 


70 




Vertex to tragus . . . 


14-2 


12 


13 


13-6 


12-6 




Vertex to chin ... 


225 


19-3 


21 


21-6 


20-3 




Facial angle 


73 


62 


67 


69 


65 





Note. — In estimating the mean deviation above and 
below the average, those measurements which were exactly 
equal to the mean were equally distributed above and 
below. 

The weight is recorded in pounds; the measurements 
are in centimetres. Excepting where otherwise indicated, 
it may be understood that the results are based on the 
examination of twenty-five subjects. 

The following average measurements of twenty-five 
Thiyans belonging to the Malabar Police force are recorded 
for comparison with those of the Todas : — 





Thiyan. 


Toda. 


Height 


172 


169-6 


Span of arms 


179-6 


175 


Chest 


85-4 


83 


Shoulders 


40-2 


39-3 


Cubit 


48 


47 


Foot, length 


27 


26-2 



309 



TABLE II. 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS. 
TODA WOMEN, 





i 

.§ 
a 


i 

3 


0> 

ho 

03 
3 


Mean 
above. 

Mean 
below. 




Weight ... 


1195 


84-5 


100-5 


109-5 


91-7 




Height 


165-6 


146-5 


155-6 


159-7 


151-2 




• 
Height, sitting ... 


86-6 


76 


81-7 


83-9 


79-7 




Height, kneeling... 


122-2 


109 


114-7 


118-5 


111-8 
156 




Span of arms 

Chest (round arm- 
pits). 


172 


145 


160-8 


165-3 




86 


72 


77-7 


80-3 


75-4 




Shoulders 


365 


32-6 


34-5 


351 


33-7 




Cubit 


47'3 


38-9 


43-6 


45-2 


42-7 




Hand, length 


18-8 


16 


17-4 


17-8 


16-8 


22 measure - 
ments. 


Hand, breadth ... 


7-8 


57 


7-2 


75 


6-8 




Middle finger 


11-8 


10-3 


11-1 


11-4 


10-9 




Foot, length 


25-4 


21-8 


23-8 


24-4 


23 




Foot, max : breadth. 


8-2 


6-6 


7'6 


79 


7-2 


21 measure- 
ments. 


Cephalic length ... 


19-7 


171 


18-4 


18-9 


17-9 




Cephalic breadth. 


14-3 


13 


13-6 


14 


13-4 




Cephalic index ... 


77-8 


70 


73-9 


75 


72-1 




Bigoniac ... 


10 


8-7 


9-4 


9-7 


9 




Bizygomatic 


13 

1 


11-5 


121 


12-4 


11-7 





Note. — Excepting where otherwise indicated, the results are based on 
the examination of twenty-five subjects. 



210 
TABLE II— continued 

SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS— continued. 
TODA WOMEN— continued. 





S 

PS 
.3 

3 


a 

s 
•a 

k 


6 

1 
u 

> 

< 


Mean 
above. 


Mean 
below. 




Maxillo -zygomatic 
index. 


82-6 


742 


77-4 


797 


756 




Nasal height 


4-9 


34 


4-2 


45 


4 




Nasal breadth . . . 


35 


3 " 


32 


33 


3-1 




Nasal index 


912 


633 


755 


78-6 


709 




Vertex to tragus . . . 


138 


11-9 


12-8 


133 


125 




Vertex to chin . . . 


21-5 


183 


197 


207 


18-9 


. 


Facial angle 


73 


61 


68 


70 


66 





211 



TABLE III. 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS 
KOTA MEN. 





i 

a 


B 

5 

s 
3 


6 
be 

S 

CD 

> 
< 


si 

CO O 

a ce 


CO CD 




Weight 


147 " 


99-5 


115 


124 


109 


20 measurements. 


Hand dynamometer. 


105 


55 


70 


79 


62 




Height 


1742 


155 


162-9 


166-2 


158-9 




Height, sitting ... 


90-4 


82-2 


85-8 


87-5 


83-9 




Height, kneeling... 


126-4 


112-4 


120 


122-8 


116-4 




Height to gladiolus. 


129-2 


115 


120-6 


1238 


118 




Span of arms 


181-4 


1556 


168-3 


172 


163-7 




1 
Chest 


91 


77-5 


83-3 


85-4 


81-5 




Middle finger to 
patella. 


! 136 


7-4 


10-7 


11-7 


9-2 


22 measurement's. 


Shoulders 


40-7 


348 


37-7 


38-7 


36-6 




Cubit 


48-6 


42-2 


45-1 


46-2 


43-8 




Hand, length 


! 19 


165 


18 


18-4 


17-5 




Haud, breadth ... 


8-6 


7-4 


8 


8-3 


7-7 




Middle finger 


i 12-6 


10-7 


11-5 


11-8 


11-2 




Hips 


1 304 


25-8 


27 


27-7 


265 




Foot, length 


263 


236 


252 


257 


24-8 




Foot, max. breadth. 


95 


8-1 


8-8 


91 


8-5 


22 measurements. 


Cephalic length ... 


\ 20-2 


183 


19-2 
14-2 


19-6 


18-8 




; Cephalic breadth. . . 


j 151 


13-4 


14-5 


13*9 




Cephalic index ... 


79-1 


699 


74-1 


76 


72 




Bigoniac 


, 10-9 

I 


91 


• 10-1 


104 


9-8 





29 



212 



TABLE III— continued. 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS— continued. 
KOTA MEN— continued. 





J 


a 

| 

'3 
S 


6 
to 

o 

> 


6 
ij 


c9 O 

O £1 




Bizygomatio 


139 


12-1 


13 


13-3 


126 




Maxillo-zygomatic 
index. 


85-1 


70 


77-9 


804 


753 




Nasal height 


5 


41 


45 


4-7 


43 




Nasal breadth 


4 


31 


35 


37 


33 




Nasal index 


929 


64 


77-2 


831 


70-5 




Vertex to tragus... 


14-9 


12-8 


137 


142 


134 




Vertex to chin ... 


227 


19-1 


20-8 


21-6 


199 




Facial angle 


73 


66 


70 


71 


69 





Note. — In estimating the mean deviation above and below the average, 
those measurements which were exactly equal to the mean were equally 
distributed above and below. 

The weight is given in pounds ; the measurements are in centimetres. 
Excepting where otherwise indicated, the results are based on twenty-five 
measurements. 



213 



TABLE IV. 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS. 
KOTA WOMEN. 





a 


J 

cS 
3 


1 

3 


5 


6 
go 


O 




Weight 


97 


72 


86 


90 
1501 


83 


15 measurements. 


Height 


154-6 


138-8 


146-3 


142-6 




Height, Bitting . . . 


80- 


73-6 


77-4 


78-9 


75-6 


Height, kneeling... 


114-6 


103-4 


108-3 


110-5 


105-4 




Span of arms 


162-2 


143-8 


151-2 


156-1 


145-8 


19 measurements. 


Shoulders 


357 


311 


33-4 


34-2 


32-5 




Cubit 


42-7 


377 


40-2 


41-5 


39 




Hand, length 


17-8 


16 


16-6 


172 


16-3 




Hand, breadth . . . 


7-8 


6-7 


73 


7'6 


7-1 




Middle finger 


11-2 


10-2 


10-6 


10-8 


10-4 


19 measurements* 


Foot, length 


25 


21-3 


22-9 


23-5 


22-3 




Foot, max. breadth. 


8-4 


7*1 


7-7 


81 


73 


17 measurements* 


Cephalic length ... 


19-1 


17-4 


18-2 


18-6 


17-8 


=__ .. , 


Cephalic breadth... 


14-5 


13-1 


13-7 


141 


13-3 
725 


Cephalic index ... 


79-2 


71 


74-9 


76-9 


Bigoniac ... 


10-3 


9 


9-4 


9-7 


91 




Bizygomatic 


12-9 


11-7 


12-3 


12-6 


11-9 




Maxillo-zygomatic 
index. 


837 


70-7 


76-8 


78-3 






Nasal height 


4-8 


3'3 


4-2 


4-4 


4 




Nasal breadth ... 


3*4 


2-9 


3-2 


3'3 


31 




Nasal index 


89-5 


70-7 


76 


80-2 


72-1 





214 



TABLE IV— continued. 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS— continued. 
KOTA WOMEN -continued. 



— ,_.._ 


a 

E3 

a 


6 

a 
3 


6 

1° 
o 

< 




Mean 
below. 


Vertex to tragus... 


139 


12-2 


131 134 


129 




"Vertex to chin . . . 


215 


17'6 


19 


195 


18-5 




Facial angle 


73 


68 


70 


71 


69 


15 measurements. 



Note.— Excepting where otherwise indicated, the results are baBed on 
twenty measurements. 



215 



TABLE V. 



COMPARISON OF MEASUREMENTS. 
TODA AND KOTA MEN. 




] 
i 


Todas. Kotas. 


| Weight ... 




115-4 


115 


Height 




169-6 


162-9 


Height, sitting 




87-9 


85-8 


- 
Height, kneeling 




124-8 


120 


Height to gladiolus ... 




124-4 


120-6 


Span of arras 




175 


168-3 


Chest 




83 


83*3 


Middle finger to patella 




9 


10-7 


Shoulders ... 




39-3 


37-7 


Cubit 




47 


45-1 


Hand, length.,. 




18-8 


18 


Hand, breadth 




8-1 


8 


Middle finger ... ... 


•• 


12 


1.1-8 


Hips ... ... 




25'7 


27 


Foot, leDgth 


... 


26-2 


25 J 2 


Foot, breadth 


... 


9*2 


8*8 


Cephalic length ... 




19-4 


192 


Cephalic breadth ... .,, 


... 


14'2 


14*2 


Cephalic index 


... 


733 


74' 1 


: Bigoniac 




9'6 


101 


Bizygomatic 


12-7 


13 



216 

TABLE V —continued. 

COMPARISON OF MEASUREMENTS— continued. 
TODA AND KOTA ME'S-continued. 





Todas. 


Kotas. 


Maxillo-zygomatic index ... ... 


75-7 


779 


Nasal height ... ... 


4-7 


45 


Nasal breadth 


36 


35 


Nasal index 


74-9 


77-2 


Vertex to tragns ... 


13 


137 


Vertex to chin ... 


21 


20-8 


Facial angle ... 


67 


70 



217 



the brXhmans, kammXlans, pallis, 
and pariahs of madras city. 



Looking at the table on page 23 0, I picture to myself the 
sad feelings of a candidate at an examination in anthro- 
pology, overflowing with parrot knowledge of his text books, 
on being presented with the following examination paper :— 

Saturday, 20th January, 2 to 5 p.m. 

Anthropology. 

Draw such conclusions as you are able from the figures 
in the table supplied. 

The table, based on measurements recorded by myself, 
affords fitting material for an essay on comparative anthro- 
pology, and, reverting for once to the position of candidate, 
I will answer, in my own way, the question set by myself as 
examiner. 

At first sight a complicated jumble of figure?, the table 
resolves itself naturally into three primary groups, viz : — 

1. Todas of the Nilgiris, above middle height (170 to 
165 cm.), with a difference of only 5*4 cm. between the span 
of the arms and height, a distance of 9 cm. from the middle 
finger to the patella, a head conspicuously long in proportion 
to its breadth, and long, narrow nose. 

2. Brahmans, Kammalans, Pallis, and Pariahs below 
middle height (165 to 160 cm.) with a difference between the 
span of the arms and height ranging from 11*4 to 9 '4 cm., 
the distance from middle finger to patella varying between 
8*4 and 101 cm., and a nasal index ranging frcm 77*2 to 
845. 

3. Paniyans of the Wynad, of low stature, with a differ- 
ence of 7' 8 cm. between the span of the arms and height, a 
distance of 7*3 cm. from middle finger to patella, a longhand, 
and broad, short nose with a very high nasal index (95*1). 

In placing the Kammalans as " below middle height," 
I give them the benefit of the three millimetres below the 
minimum (160 cm.), as they should be sharply separated 
from the various people (Muppas, Cherumans, Kurumans, 



218 

Paniyans, &o.), whose mean height is uniformly between 157 
and 158 cm. 

"With the Todas I have already dealt in detail. With the 
Paniyans I shall deal in like manner hereafter. Suffice it, 
for the moment, to state that they are a short, curly (not 
wooly) headed, broad-nosed people, inhabiting the "Wynad 
and plains of Malabar, who are popularly believed (with no 
evidence in support of the belief) to be of African descent. 
In the present essay I shall confine myself mainly to a con- 
sideration of the Brahmans belonging to the poorer classes, 
Kammalans, Pallis, and Pariahs of Madras city, based, in 
each case, on measurements of forty adult men, varying in 
age from twenty-five to forty, and taken at random. 

It may be contended that it is not possible to arrive at 
an average, in the case of a large community, such, for 
example, as the Brahmans, by measurement of so few indi- 
viduals as forty. I, therefore, produce in evidence of the 
fairness of the figures recorded in table VI, table VII, in 
which the mean measurements, as estimated after ten, twenty, 
thirty, and forty measurements, are given. The results show, 
in a very marked manner, that each series of ten indivi- 
duals conformed, as regards weight and measurements of 
the head, trunk, and extremities, to the same type. More 
especially would I invite attention to the measurements of the 
height, head, and nose. Taking some of the more important 
factors in table VII, and examining the greatest deviation 
from the averages, the results are as follows : — 

Greatest deviation. 
2-5 cm. = l inch. 
1 mm.= *1 cm. 

1*1 cm. 
1-3 „ 
3 mm. 
2 „ 
1 „ 
1 „ 
1 „ 
1 ,, 



Height 

Span of arms . . 
Hand, length . . 
Foot, length 
Cephalic length 
Cephalic breadth 
Nasal height 
Nasal breadth . , 



The Brahmans, who returned themselves as Madhava, 
Smarta, S61iya, and Vaishnava, belonged to the classes of 
agriculturist, clerk, guru, mendicant, and schoolmaster. 

The Kammalans comprised blacksmiths, carpenters, stone- 
masons, and goldsmiths ; the Pallis, cultivators, fitters, gar- 
deners, hand-cart draggers, masons, polishers, and sawyers ; 



219 

the Pariahs, coachmen, coolies, dressing-boys, fish- sellers, 
gardeners, and horse-keepers. 

It would be impossible, within the limits of a single, 
essay, to deal at length with the " manners and customs," 
history, religion, &c., of the Brahmans. Kammalans, PalJis, 
and Pariahs : and I cannot do better than reproduce the 
epitomes contained in my constant companion, the Madras 
Census Report, 1891, wherein Mr. H. A. Stuart has brought 
together, for the benefit of the anthropologist, a vast store 
of information, both statistical and general, 



1. BEi.HMANS. 



" It has often been asserted, and is now the general belief 
of ethnologists, that the Brahmans of the South are not pure 
Aryans, but are a mixed Aryan and Dravidian race. In the 
earliest times the caste division was much less rigid than 
now, and a person of another caste could become a Brahman 
by attaining the Brahmanical standard of knowledge, and 
assuming Brahmanical functions. And, when we see Nambu- 
diri Brahmans even at the present day contracting alliances, 
informal though they be, with the women of the country, it 
is not difficult to believe that, on their first arrival, such 
unions were even more common, and that the children born 
of them would be recognised as Br&hmans, though perhaps 
regarded as an inferior class. However, those Brahmans, in 
whose veins the mixed blood is supposed to run, are even to 
this day regarded as lower in the social scale, and are not 
allowed to mix freely with the pure Brahman community." 



2. KAMMALANS, 



* The name Kammala is a generic term applied to the 
five artisan castes, viz., (1) Tattan or Kamsala (goldsmith) ; 
(2) Kannan or Kanchara (brazier) ; (3) Kollan or Kammara 
(blacksmith) ; (4) Tac'chan or Vadra (carpenter); and (5) 
Kal Tac'chan or Silpi (stone-mason). The Kamm&las assert 
that they are descended from Visvakarma, the architect of the 

30 



220 

gods> and, in many parts of the country, they claim to be 
equal with the Brahmans, calling themselves Visva Brahmans. 
Inscriptions show that, as late as the year 
1033 A. D., the Kammalans were treated as a very inferior 
caste, for they, like the Paraiyans, Pallans, &c, were con- 
fined to a particular part or cheri of the village site. . . . 
The five main sub-divisions of the Kammalans do not 
generally intermarry. They have priests of their own, and 
do not allow even Brahmans to officiate for them, but they 
imitate the Brahmans in their ceremonies. Grirls must be 
married before puberty, and widow re -marriage is strictly 
prohibited. The use of flesh and alcohol is also nominally 
forbidden. Many of them bury the dead in a sitting posture, 
but cremation is also practised. Their usual title is Achari, 
and some call themselves Pattern, which is the equivalent of 
the Brahman Bhatta. To this account may be added the 
fact that the Kammalans wear the sacred thread/' 



3. PALLIS, 



" The Pallis, Yanniyans, or Padaiyachis, are found in all 
the Tamil districts .... That the Pallis were once 
an influential and independent community may be admitted, 
and, in their present desire to be classed as Kshatriyas, 
they are merely giving expression to their belief , but, unless 
an entirely new meaning is given to the term ' Kshatriya,' 
their claim must be dismissed as absurd. After the fall of the 
Pallava dynasty the Pallis became agricultural servants 
under the Vallalas, and it is only since the advent of British 
rule that they have begun to assert their claims to a higher 
position. The bulk of them are still labourers, but many 
now farm their own lands, while others are engaged in 
trade. 

"They do not wear the sacred thread. Some of them 
engage Brahmans to officiate as their priests. Their girls are 
usually married after they attain maturity. The re-marriage 
of widows is permitted, and actually practised. Divorce is 
said to be permitted only in case of adultery by the wife, but 
this statement requires confirmation. They both burn and 
bury the dead. Their usual agnomen isKayandan or Padai- 
yachi, but some of them, who strive for a higher social 
standing, call themselves ' N&yakkan.' f 



221 
4. PAEIAHS. 



" The Paraiyan or Pariah caste of the Tamil country 
numbers, according- to the census, over two million souls. 
.... The tribe must at one time have held an influential 
position, for there are curious survivals of this in certain 
privileges which Paraiyans have retained to the present day. 
I quote the following remarks of Mr. Walhouse on this 
subject : — 

" * It is well known that the servile castes in Southern 
India once held far higher positions, and were indeed 
masters of the land on the arrival of the Br&hmanical caste. 
Many curious vestiges of their ancient power still survive in 
the shape of certain privileges, which are jealously cherished, 
and, their origin being forgotten, are misunderstood. These 
privileges are remarkable instances of survivals from an 
extinct order of society. Shadows of long-departed supre- 
macy, bearing witness to a period when the present haughty 
high-caste races were suppliants before the ancestors of de- 
graded classes, whose touch is now regarded as pollution. 
At Melkotta, the chief seat of the followers of Bamanuja- 
acharya, and at the Brahman temple at Bailur, the Holey - 
ars or Pareyars have the right of entering the temple on 
three days in the year, specially set apart for them. . . . 
In the great festival of Siva at Tiruvalur in Tanjore, the 
headman of the Pareyars is mounted on the elephant with 
the god, and carries his chauri. In Madras, at the annual 
festival of the goddess of Black Town, when a tdli is tied 
round the neck of the idol in the name of the entire commu- 
nity, a Pareyar is chosen to represent the bridegroom.' 

" ' The Paraiyans have been but little affected by Brahma- 
nical doctrines and customs, though in respect to ceremonies 
they have not escaped their influence. Paraiyans are 
nominally Saivities, but in reality they are demon-wor- 
shippers. The Yalluvas are their priests. The marriage 
of girls before puberty is very rare. Divorce is easy ; a 
husband can send his wife away at will, and she on her part 
can dissolve the marriage tie by simply returning the tdli. 
In such cases the husband takes the children, or contributes 
for their maintenance. Widow marriage is freely allowed. 
The dead are usually buried.' " 

Turning now to a detailed analysis of the figures in 
table VI, with more special reference to the Brahmans, 



222 



Kammalans, Pallis, and Pariahs. The Brahmans are the 
best nourished, as indicated by the weights, which, relative 
to stature = 100, are as follows :— Br ahmans 70*8; Pariahs 
65-4; Pallis 64*4; Kammalans 629 lbs. In height the 
Brahmans, Pallis, and Pariahs are very closely allied, and 
differentiated from the Kammalans, as shown by the. 
following table 20 : — 





U 

4 


It 


* 

It 


Brahmans 


162-5 


167-9 


157-1 


Pallis 


1625 


166-7 


157-5 


Pariahs 


162-1 


166-3 


157-4 


Kammalans ... 


' 1597 


1641 


155-2 



The relative lengths of the upper extremities are best 
determined by a comparison of the grande enrergure (span of 
arms) with the height, and of the distance from the middle 
finger to the patella. 

The difference between the span of the arms and height 
ranges between 10 cm. and 10*8 cm. in the Brahmans, Pallis, 
and Pariahs, and is over 11 cm. in the Kammalans; or, 
expressed relatively to stature = 100, and compared with the 
averages of English and Negroes, the results are as 
follows : — 



English 


.. 104-4 


Pariahs 


.. 106-2 


Pallis 


106-2 


Brahmans . . 


.. 106 6 


Kammalans . . 


.. 107-1 


Negroes 


.. 108-1 



The results, then, in the classes under review, range 
between those of the English and Negroes, of whom the 
latter, owing to the great length of the upper extremities, 
have a very wide span 

The distance from the tip of the middle finder to the top 
of the patella (the extensor muscles of the thigh being 



20 In this and subsequent tables the measurements are recorded in 
centimetres. 



223 



relaxed) diminishes as the length of the upper extremities is 
greater. It is greatest in the Brahmans, least in the 
feammalans, and intermediate (and, as in the case of the span, 
the same) in the Pallis and Pariahs. The following table 
gives the results, relative to stature =100, as compared with 
the results of measurement of American soldiers, Negroes, 
and the Paniyans of the Wynad : — 

American soldiers . . 

Brahmans 

Pallis 

Pariahs 

Kammalans 

Paniyans 

Negroes 



4.4 



As in the case of the difference between span and height, 
the classes under review come between the white men and 
the Negroes, to the latter of whom the short, broad-nosed 
Paniyans approximate most closely. 

Once again, the length of the hand is practically the 
same in the Pallis and Pariahs, who come between the long- 
handed Brahmans and short-handed Kammalans. But, in 
length of foot, the Brahmans and Pariahs (whose average 
foot-length is practically the same) exceed the Pallis and 
Kammalans. A long hand or foot, it may be noted, en 
■passant, is not considered a characteristic of inferiority. 

I take this opportunity of correcting an error in Topi- 
nard's i Anthropology,' based on the rough tape measure- 
ments of Dr. Shortt, to the effect that the Toda foot is 
"monstrously large," viz., 181 relative to stature = 100. 
My measurements were made with a sliding scale on twenty- 
five Toda men taken at random, and gave the following 
results : — 





a 
| 

M 

3 


a 

B 
"3 

a 


© 

eS 
U 


6 
So 




Actual 


27-9 


24-2 


26-2 


273 
16 


254 
151 


Belative to stature=100. 


16-9 


146 


15-4 



So far, then, from the length of the Toda foot being 
monstrously large, it is, as shown by the following table, 



224 



shorter, relative to stature, than that of all, except one, of the 
classes or tribes of Southern India, whose investigation I 
have, up to the present time, completed : — 





Height. 


Length of 
foot. 


Length 
of foot 
relative to 
stature 
= 100. 


Kongas 


159 


255 


16-1 


Kammalans 


159-7 


25-1 


16 


Pariahs 


162-1 


26 


16 


Brahmans 


162-5 


25-9 


159 


Paniyans 


157-4 


25 


15-9 


Cherumans 


157-5 


24-7 


15-7 


Pallis 


162-5 


255 


15-7 


Irulas 


159-8 


24-9 


15-6 


Muppas 


157-7 


24-5 


15-5 


Kotas 


162-9 


25-2 


15'5 


Todas 


169-6 


26-2 


15-4 


Badagas 


164-1 


25 


15*2 



Though not included in table VI, the relation of the 
breadth of the hips, across the spines of the ilia, to the length 
of the foot, appears to me to serve as a distinguishing 
characteristic between different races, castes, and tribes. I, 
therefore, reproduce the results so far as my investigations 
permit : — 



225 





Foot 
length. 


Hips 

breadth . 


Foot. 


Hips. 


Kotas 


25-2 


27 


... i + 1-8 


Badagas 


25 


26'6 


... j + 1-6 


Irulas 


24'9 

25-9 


25-4 

26 


... j + -5 


Brahmans 


... | + , 


Kongas 


25-5 
25 


25*6 


j + "I 


Paniyans ... ... 


243 


+ -7 ; ... 


Todas 


26-2 


25-7 


+ 5 
+ -5 





Cherumans 


24-7 


24-2 


Mappas ... ... ... 


24-5 


24'1 


+ -4 




Pariahs 


26 


25-9 


+ -1 




Kammalans 


25-1 


251 


- 




- 


Pallis 


25-5 


255 


- 



This table shows that, in the classes under review, and in 
the Kongas, the breadth of the hips and length of the foot 
are practically equal, whereas in the Badagas, Kotas, and 
Irulas the length of the foot is appreciably shorter, and in 
the Todas, Paniyans, Cherumans, and Muppas, longer than 
the breadth of hips. 

Passing on to a consideration of the measurements of the 
head, it may be stated at the outset that the Brahmans are 
separated, not only from the Kammalans, Pallis, and Pariahs, 
but also, as shown in the following table, from all the other 
classes or tribes of Southern India which I have as yet 
investigated, with the exception of the Kongas of Coimbatore, 
by the relation of the maximum transverse diameter to the 
maximum antero-posterior diameter of the head (cephalic 
index). Though the cephalic index of the Kongas is slightly 
greater, the mean length and breadth of their heads are 
considerably less than those of the Brahmans, being only 
17*8 cm. and 13*7 cm. against 18*6 cm. and 14*2 cm. 



226 





a 

p 

.a 

H 

3 


a 

B 

B 

•a 
3 


© 
to 

e 
> 

< 


il 


S .2 


Badagas ... 


775 

77-1 


66-1 


71-7 


73-9 


695 


Muppas ... 


623 


723 


74-5 


703 


Pallia 


80 


644 


73 


755 


701 


Todas 


776 


69-2 


733 


74 


71 


Pariahs ... 


78-3 


64-8 


736 


755 


71-4 


Cherumans 


80-1 


677 


73-9 


763 


71-7 
72 


Paniyans 


811 


69-4 


74 


763 


Kotas ... 


791 


69-9 


741 


76 


72 


Kammalans 


815 


684 


75 


77-8 


722 


Irulas 


80-9 


70'8 


75-8 


78 


738 


Brahmans 


84 


69 


76-5 


789 


736 


Kongas 


81*7 


70 


77 


78-2 


74-2 



The results of measurements of the length of the head of 
Brahmans, Kammalans, Pallis, and Pariahs show that the 
average length is the same in all except the Kammalans, in 
whom it is slightly (*2 cm.) shorter. 



CEPHALIC LENGTH, 





a 

c3 
£1 


a 


§ 


© 

© 

> 


© 
d > 

is 


S-i 

J- 2 


Brahmans 


199 


173 


186 


191 


18-2 


Kammalans 


197 


173 


184 


189 


178 


Pallis 


196 


17*4 


186 


19 


182 
182 


Pariahs ... 


197 


17 


18-6 


191 



The results of measurement of the breadth of the head, on 
the other hand, show that the average breadth of the Brah- 
man head is considerably in excess of that of the Kammalans, 
Pallis, and Pariahs. 



227 

CEPHALIC BREADTH. 



1 


a 
pi 
a 

M 
3 


a 

a 

3 


Average. 


6 
go 

TO O 
© %* 




Brahmans 


152 


127 


14-2 


146 


137 


Kammalans 


14-7 


131 


137 


14 


13'4 
132 


Pallis 


14-6 


121 


136 


14 


■ Pariahs ... 


145 


13 


137 


14 


134 



The great breadth of the Brahman head, in comparison 
with that of the other three classes, is well brought out by 
the following table, which gives the number of times in 
which the head of members of each class measured between 
12 and 13, 13 and 14, 14 and 15, and 15 and 16 centimetres 
respectively : — 





12-13 13-14 

j 


14-15 


15-16 


Total. 


Brahruans 


1 


9 


27 


3 


40 


Kammalans 


1 


22 


17 




40 


Pallis 


3 


30 


7 
13 




40 
40 


Pariahs ... ... ... 


27 



The mean measurements of the nose of the Brahmans, 
Kammalans, Pallis, and Pariahs, which are summed up in the 
following tables, and compared with those of the typical 
broad- nosed Paniyans, show that in all, except the Paniyans, 
the average breadth of the nose is the same, but the length 
is slightly greatest in the Brahmans, and least in the Pariahs. 
A Brahman school-master was the possessor of the longest 
nose (5*5 cm.), and a Pariah dressing-boy of the broadest 
(4* 5 cm.). But, in the course of my investigation, I came 
across many dark-skinned Brahmans, with high nasal index, 
with whom I for one should be sorry to claim Aryan kinship. 
More especially have I in mind a swarthy individual with a 
nose 4*1 cm. X 3'9 cm. and, for a Brahman, a monstrous 
nasal index oi 95*1. 

31 



228 



NASAL HEIGHT. 



1 


Maximum. 


a 

a 
a 


Average, j 


Mean 
above. 


3 J 


• 
Brahmans 


55 4-1 4'7 


4-9 


4-4 


Kauimalans 


52 


41 


4-6 


4-8 


43 


Pallia 


5-1 


4-1 


4'6 


4-8 


44 


Pariahs ... 


51 


41 


4-5 


4-8 


43 


Paniyans ... 


4-8 


33 


4 


4-2 


3-7 



NASAL BREADTH. 





Maximum. 


a 

1 

.3 


bfl 

© 
< 


Mean 
above. 


Mean 
below. 


Brahmans 


39 


3 


36 


37 


34 


Kammalans 


4 


3-1 


3-6 


3-8 


34 


Pallis 


41 


31 


3-G 


3-8 


34 


Pariahs ... 


4-5 


31 


3-6 


3-8 


34 


Paniyans ... 


4-2 


3-2 


38 


4 


36 



NASAL INDEX. 





| 


Minimum. 


> 


Mean 
above. 


Mean 
below. 


Brahmans 


951 


60 


76-7 


82*2 


71-6 


Kammalans 


909 


633 


773 


82-6 


72-5 


Pallis 


959 


60-8 


77-9 


83-5 


733 


Pariahs ... 


91-8 


66 


80 


86 
100*9 


74-3 

88-2 


Paniyans ... 


108-6 


72-9 


95-1 



229 

To sum up in a few words the distinguishing characteristics 
of Brahmans, Kamm&lans, Pallis, and Pariahs, as deduced 
from the measurements. The Brahmans are characterised by 
the greatest weight, greatest breadth of head, greatest distance 
from the middle finger to the patella, and the longest hand. 
The Kammalans are at once separated from the other three 
classes by shortness of stature, hand, and foot ; and the Pallis 
and Pariahs are connected together by the close relation of 
their weight, height, difference between span and height, 
distance from the middle finger to the patella, and length of 
hand. 

• It must not for a moment be supposed that the present 
note is intended to be a final summing up of the charac- 
teristics, deduced from anthropometric observations, of the 
Brahmans of Southern India. Rather does it represent the 
initial stage of an enquiry, in carrying out which I foresee 
difficulties resulting from dread of pollution by my instru- 
ments, especially the goniometer, which has to be held 
between the teeth when the facial angle is being determined. 
Anthropological research among uneducated and super- 
stitious people who believe in the efficacy of a thread in 
warding off the evil influence of devils, and are incapable 
of appreciating that one's motive is quite harmless, requires 
tact, bribery, coaxing, and a large store of patience. Last 
year, for example, the Paniyan women believed that I was 
going to have the finest specimens among them stuffed 
for the Madras Museum, and the Muppas of the Wynad 
were afraid that I was a recruiting sergeant, bent on 
enlisting the strongest men of their community for a native 
Malabar army ; and, in a recent wandering on the lower 
slopes of the Nilgiris, a man who was c wanted ' for some 
mild crime of ancient date, came to be measured, but abso- 
lutely refused to submit to the operation on the plea that 
he was afraid that the height measuring standard was the 
gallows. Nor would he permit me to take his photo- 
graph lest it should be used for the purpose of criminal 
identification. 



82 



230 



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CO 

co 


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CO 

CO 

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cb 
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CO 


cb 


CO 

cb 


cb 


CO 

cb 


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52 


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00 
rH 


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CO 


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CO 


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CO 


CM 


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do 

rH 


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rH 


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05 
rH 


do 

rH 


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6 

1— 1 


do 


05 


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05 


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ireds aaaA^aq aouaja^iQ 


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6 

rH 


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rH 
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rH 


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rH 


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co 

rH 


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rH 


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CO 
rH 


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CO 

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rH 


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mtym 


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05 
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231 

TABLE VII. 

BKAHMANS. 



(AVERAGES OF TEN, TWENTY, THIRTY AND- FORTY MEASUREMENTS). 





10 


20 


30 


40 


Weight 




114-9 


115-7 


115 


115 


Height 




1633 


163-6 


162-3 


162-5 


Height, sitting 


.... 


85-1 


85-4 


85-2 


85-4 


Height, kneeling 




119-5 


119-8 


118*9 


119-2 


Height to gladiolus 




121-8 


122-4 


121-6 


1221 


Span of arms 




174-6 


173-4 


172-9 


173-3 


Middle finger to patella 




9-6 


10-8 


10-4 


10-1 


Shoulders 




39-6 


392 


392 


393 


Cubit 




46-5 


46-1 


45-9 


46 


Hand, length 


__ 


18-4 


18-2 


18-1 


18-3 


Hand, breadth 




8 


8 


8 


8 


Middle finger 




11-7 


11-5 


11-5 


11-6 


Hips 


... 25-8 


25-7 


25-9 


26 


Foot, length 




26-1 


261 


25-9 


259 


Foot, breadth 


8-5 


8-7 


8-7 


8-7 


Cephalic length 




18-7 


18-7 


18-6 


18-6 


Cephalic breadth 


... 


14-2 


14-3 


14-2 


14-2 


Cephalic index 




75-9 


76-2 


76-4 


76-4 


Bigoniac 




10-2 


10-1 


10 


10 


Bizygomatic 


12-8 


12-9 


12-9 


12-9 


Maxillo- zygomatic index 




80 


779 


77-7 


77-7 


Nasal height 




4-6 


4-7 


4-7 


4-7 


Nasal breadth 




3-7 


3-6 


3-6 


3-6 


Nasal index ... 




78-6 


773 


77-2 


77-2 


Vertex to traguB 




14 


14 


14 


141 


Vertex to chin 




20-8 


20-8 


20-7 


209 


Facial angle 


... j 68 


69 


68 


69 



Note.— In this and the following 
measurements are in centimetres, The 
toent of forty subjects. 



tables the weight is rec 
results are based in each 



orded in pounds ; the 
table on the measure* 



232 



TABLE VIII. 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS. 
BRAHMANS. 



Max. 


Min. 


Aver- 
age. 


Mean 
above 


Mean 
below 


Weight 


161 


90 


115 


132 


107 


Height 


174-6 


153 


169-5 


167-9 


1571 


Height, sitting 


90-8 


81 


85-4 


87-8 


832 


Height, kneeling 


1278 


108-2 


119-2 


1229 


1157 


Height to gladiolus ... 


133-6 


1126 


1221 


126-2 


1179 


Span of arms ... 


187-8 


160 


1733 


180 


1667 


Chest 


98 


70 


81 


85-6 


771 


Middle finger to patella 


14-8 


4-8 


10-1 


121 


85 


Shoulders 


43-7 


346 


393 


41-3 


342 


Cubit 


499 


41-6 


46 


47-8 


44-3 


Hand, length ... 


19-8 


16-1 


183 


19-1 


17-5 


Hand, breadth 


91 


72 


8 


8-4 


7-7 


Middle finger ... 


12-0 


10-7 


11-6 


12 


11-2 


Hips ... ... 


303 


23 


26 


276 


249 
24-7 


Foot, length 


28-8 


222 


259 


26-8 


Foot, breadth 


9-8 


7-7 


8-7 


9-1 


8-2 


Cephalic length 


199 


173 


18-6 


191 


182 


Cephalic breadth 


152 


12-7 


14-2 


14-6 

78-9 


13-7 


Cephalic index 


84 


69 


76-5 


73-6 


Bigoniac 


iri 


9 


10 


104 


95 


Bizygomatic 


141 


11-6 


129 


18-3 


12-4 


Maxillo-zygomatic index. 


91-5 


69-5 


77-7 


811 


74-9 


Nasal height ... 


5-5 


4-1 


4-7 


49 


4-4 


Nasal breadth ... 


3-9 


3 


36 


3-7 


34 


Nasal index 


95'1 


60 


76-7 


82-2 


71-6 


Vertex to tragus 


14-7 


12-8 


141 


14-5 


13-5 


Vertex to chin 


229 


181 


20-9 


215 


202 


Facial angle 


74 


61 


69 


71 


66 



233 



TABLE IX, 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS. 
KAMMALANS. 





Max. 


Min. 


Aver- 
age. 


Mean 
above 


Mean 
below 


Weight 


130 


79 


100-4 


111-5 


92-2 


Height 


171-8 


146*4 


1597 


1641 


155-2 


Height, sitting 


88 


75-6 


82-5 


84-4 


80 


Height, kneeling 


126-2 


1072 


117-4 


120-3 


114-3 


Height to gladiolus 


1298 


111-2 


120 


123-6 


116-8 


Span of arms 


188-4 


158-8 


171 


175-5 


167 


Chest 


86 


71 


78 


81-4 


75-5 


Middle finger to patella 


13-4 


4-2 


8-4 


10-6 


6-8 


Shoulders 


42-8 


36 


39-2 


40-7 


38 


Cubit ... 


50-6 


42-2 


46-2 


475 


45 


Hand, length 


19 


16-2 


17-6 


18-3 


17-1 


Hand, breadth 


8-9 


7-4 


8-1 


8-4 


7-9 


Middle finger 


125 


10-7 


11-4 


11-8 


11-1 


Hips 


29 


23-2 


251 


26-1 


223-4 


Foot, length 


27-2 


23-2 


251 


26-2 


4-2 


Foot, breadth 


9'7 


7-8 


8-6 


9 


8-3 


Cephalic length 


197 


173 


18-4 


18-9 


17-8 


Cephalic breadth 


14-7 


13-1 


13-7 


14 


413- 


Cephalic index 


81-5 


68-4 


75 


77-8 


72-2 


Bigoniac 


11-1 


8-6 


9-7 


10-3 


9-2 


Bizygomatic 


13-3 


11-6 


. 127 


13 


12-4 


Maxillo -zygomatic index 


85-3 


69-5 


76-2 


79-6 


73-6 


Nasal height 


5-2 


4-1 


4-6 


4-8 


4-3 


Nasal breadth 


4 


31 


3-6 


38 


3-4 


Nasal index 


90-9 


63-3 


77-3 


82-6 


72-5 


Vertex to tragus 


146 


12-7 


13-7 


14-1 


13-4 


Vertex to chin 


229 


18-3 


20-9 


21-7 


19-8 


Facial angle 


75 


64 


70 


72 


68 



234 



TABLE X. 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS. 
PALLIS. 



— 


Max. 


Min. 


Aver- 
age. 


Mean 
above 


Mean 
below 


Weight 


123 


85 


104-6 


111-6 


96 


Height 


169-4 


151 


162-5 


166-7 


157-5 


Height, sitting 


89-5 


77-9 


83-6 


85-4 


81-8 


Height, kneeling 


123-8 


111 


118-8 


1215 


115-8 


Height to gladiolus 


128-8 


114 


121-5 


125-9 


117-8 


Span of arms 


182-2 


159-6 


1726 


177-6 


1679 


Chest 


855 


72 


79-2 


81-8 


76-3 


Middle finger to patella 


14-2 


4-2 


9-5 


11-1 


7-7 


Shoulders 


419 


36-2 


39-4 


40-6 


38-2 


Cubit 


49-3 


41-6 


46-2 


47-7 


446 


Hand, length 


19-7 


16 


17-9 


18-7 


17-1 


Hand, breadth 


8-9 


7-4 


8-1 


8-4 


7-7 


Middle finger 


12-1 


10 


11-4 


11-8 


10-9 


Hips 


273 


24 


255 


26-5 


24-6 


Foot, length 


276 


233 


25-5 


26-4 


24-6 


Foot, breadth _ ... 


10 


7-8 


8-9 


9-3 


8-4 


Cephalic length 


19-6 


17-4 


18-6 


19 


18-2 


Cephalic breadth 


14'6 


12-1 


13-6 


14 


132 

70-1 


Cephalic index 


80 


64-4 


73 


75-5 


Bigoniac 


10-8 


9 


99 


10'3 


95 


Bizygomatic 


13-6 


11-9 


12-7 


13-1 


123 


Maxillo-zygomatic index 


85-7 


72-4 


78 


80-1 


76 


Nasal height 


51 


4-1 


4*6 


4-8 


4-4 


Nasal breadth 


4-1 


31 


36 


3-8 


3-4 


Nasal index 


951 


60-8 


77'9 


835 


733 


Vertex to tragus 


14-6 


12'5 


13-8 


14-2 


13-4 


Vertex to chin 


22-5 


19-3 


21-1 


21-7 


20*7 


Facial angle 


76 


63 


69 


71 


64 



235 



TABLE XI. 



SUMMARY OF MEASUREMENTS. 
PARIAHS. 



— 


Max. 


Min. 


Aver- 
age. 


Mean 
above 


Mean 
below 


Weight "■ 


128 


91 


106 


114 


99 


Height 


171-4 


149-4 


162 1 


166-3 


157-4 


Height, sitting 


89-9 


76 


84-5 


86-8 


82-7 


Height, kneeling 


1272 


109-4 


119-4 


1227 


116-4 


Height to gladiolus 


129-6 


1125 


122-4 


125-5 


119 


Span of arms ... 


186-6 


159-8 


172-1 


178 


167-2 


Chest 


84-5 


74-5 


79-3 


81-6 


775 


Middle finger to patella. 


14 


5-5 


94 


11-2 


7-8 


Shoulders 


41-4 


36' 8 


39-4 


40-4 


38-6 


Cubit 


49-7 


42-5 


46-1 


47-7 


44-9 


Hand, length ... 


19-6 


15-5 


17-9 


18-5 


17-3 


Hand, breadth 


8-8 


7-4 


8 


8-3 


7-9 


Middle finger 


12-9 


104 


11-4 


11-7 


111 


Hips 


28-2 


24-1 


25-9 


26-8 


25 


Foot, length 


28-8 


242 


26 


26-9 


252 


Foot, breadth ... 


10 


8-1 


9-1 


95 


8-7 


Cephalic length 


19-7 


17 


18-6 


191 


18-1 


Cephalic breadth 


14-5 


13 


137 


14 


13-4 


Cephalic index .. . 


78-3 


64-8 


73 6 


75-5 


71-4 


Bigoniac 


11-1 


9-1 


10 


105 


9-5 


Bizygomatic 


137 


12-2 


129 


132 


12-6 


Maxillo-zygomatic index. 


84-7 


67-4 


77-6 


813 


74-8 


Nasal height 


5-1 


4-1 


4-5 


4-8 


4-3 


Nasal breadth .. . 


4-5 


3-1 


3-6 


38 


34 


Nasal index 


91-8 


66 


80 


86 


743 


Vertex to tragus 


149 


129 


138 


14-2 


13-4 


Vertex to chin .. . 


232 


19 


21-3 


22 


20-6 


Facial angle 


75 


62 


68 


71 


66 



238 



TABLE XII. 



COMPARISON OF MEASUREMENTS. 
BRa'hMANS, KAMMALANS, PALLIS, AND PARIAHS. 



— 


Brah- 

rnaus. 


Kamma- ts ... 
, Palhs. 
lans. 


Pariahs. 




Weight 


115 


1004 


104-6 


106 




Height 


1625 


159-7 


162-5 


1621 




Height, sitting 


854 


825 


836 


84-5 




Height, kneeling 


119-2 


117-4 


118-b 


119-4 




Height to gladiolus ... 


1221 


120 


121-5 


122-4 




Span of arms ... ... 


1733 


171 


172-6 


1721 




Chest 


81 


78 


79-2 


793 




Middle finger to patella 


101 


8-4 


95 


9-4 




Shoulders ... ' ... 


• 393 


392 


394 


39-4 




Cubit 


46 


46-2 


462 


461 




Hand, length ... 


18-3 


176 


17-9 


179 




Hand, breadth 


8 


81 


81 


8 




Middle finger ... 


11-6 


11-4 


. 11-4 


11*4 




Hips ... ... ... 


26 


251 


255 


25-9 




Foot, length 


25-9 


25-1 


25*5 


26 




Foot, breadth 


8-7 


8-6 


8-9 


91 




Cephalic length 


18-6 


18-4 
137 


18-6 
13-6 


18-6 
13-7 




Cephalic breadth 


14-2 




Cephalic index 


76-5 


75 


73 


736 




Bigoniac ... 


10 


9-7 


9-9 


10 




Bizygomatic ... 


12-9 


22-7 


12-7 


129 




Maxilio-zygomatic index 


77-7 


76-2 


78 


77*6 




Nasal height ... ... 


4-7 


4-6 


4-6 


4-5 




Nasal breadth . . : 


3-6 


3-6 


36 


36 




Nasal index ... ... 


76-7 


773 


779 


80 




Vertex to tragus 


141 


13-7 


13-8 


13-8 




Vertex to chin 


20-9 


209 


21-1 


21-3 




Facial angle 


69 


70 


69 


68 








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